New Delhi: The per capita water availability has declined to 1,544 cubic metre in 2011 from 1,816 cubic metre in 2001, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat told the Rajya Sabha on Monday.He stressed on the conservation of monsoon rains to overcome water shortage in the country. “Water conservation is everyone’s responsibility,” he said while replying to supplementaries during Question Hour. The water conservation issue needs to be converted into mass movement by creating awareness, the minister added. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!Shekhawat said in many countries sewage water is being recycled to make potable water, but there is no such need in India. “Water is a State subject and planning, funding, implementation and maintenance of water supply schemes are primarily the responsibility of the state governments, he said in written reply. The Central Government provides technical and financial assistance to States for improving coverage of safe drinking water in rural habitations under centrally sponsored National Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP). Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killed”According to NITI Aayog’s documents ‘Strategy for New India @75’ due to growing population, the per capita water availability in the country has decreased from 1816 cubic metre in 2001 to 1544 cubic metre in 2011,” the minister said. Shekhawat highlighted steps taken by the central government to mitigate hardship of people to access potable water. He said an advisory was issued by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation in May to States on water conservation and to meet drinking water requirements of rural areas on priority, during scarcity. “Further, Cabinet Secretariat, vide its letter dated May 29, 2019 addressed to selective States, recommended action plans for dealing with drought-like situation,” he added. That apart, Shekhawat said the prime minister has written letters to all Sarpanches in the country motivating them to take up water conservation activities like de-silting and cleaning of water bodies, rain water harvesting etc. with people participation. “As announced in the Union Budget Speech 2019-20, it has been envisaged to ensure piped water supply to all rural households by 2024 under the Jal Jeevan Mission. “This programme will focus on integrated demand and supply side management of water at the local level, including creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household wastewater for reuse in agriculture,” he added. The Jal Jeevan Mission would converge with other Central and State Government Schemes to achieve its objectives of sustainable water supply management across the country, the minister said.
During the month of May, 169 potential candidates will receive training in political participation, decision making and basic knowledge of running for an office. The first 35 participants began a three-day training course today. The launch of the programme follows the announcement by UNTAET chief Sergio Vieira de Mello of measures to encourage female participation in the 30 August vote to the Assembly, which will prepare and adopt a constitution of an independent East Timor. On 16 March, Mr. Vieira de Mello set the stage for the first democratic vote in the territory when he signed a regulation on elections and registration of political parties.Civil society organizations all over East Timor have been asked to help in identifying women who may be interested in running as independent or political party candidates. The participants in the workshops, which are organized by UNTAET’s Gender Affairs Unit with the help of trainers from the UN Fund for Women (UNIFEM), come from all 13 districts and represent a large variety of organizations. Those who decide to run in the elections will receive additional training in the coming months, the UN mission said.
With poor weather conditions making mountain roads impassable, UN helicopters are set to resume flights next week to remote quake-hit regions in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).The UN Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flights will carry building and agriculture materials to remote areas and plans to run at least five helicopters during its three-month winter operation from November until January 2007, according to the World Food Programme (WFP), which manages UNHAS.WFP already reaches one million survivors and guarantees winter food supplies for hundreds of thousands in remote mountain communities.To improve living conditions among survivors, the Norwegian Refugee Council is heading up the upgrade of 40 makeshift camps, mostly located in Muzzafarabad, Kashmir’s capital, and construction should be completed by mid-December.The massive quake in October 2005 ripped through thousands of homes, causing extensive damage, with some 600,000 rural and 30,000 urban dwellings affected across mountainous terrain stretching 30,000 square kilometres.The International Organization for Migration (IOM) expects to release a winter-needs assessment report for the region next week.