New Delhi: A seven member parliamentary delegation from Germany led by Volkmar Klein called on the Union Minister of Jal Shakti (Water Resources), Gajendra Singh Shekhawat in New Delhi today. They discussed avenues for cooperation between the two countries, especially in the area of river rejuvenation and providing tap water to all households in India.
Shekhawat said India has undertaken the rejuvenation of India’s longest Ganga river through the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
“Rejuvenation of Ganga is a challenging task and we can learn from the German experience in setting global benchmarks for the rejuvenation of rivers such as Rhine and Danube,” he said.
“The Ganga river runs its course through more than 2,500 kms while its basin covers 32% of India’s landmass and is the lifeline for almost 42% of the country’s population,” Shekhawat added.
Shekhawat said that ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave a call for eradicating single use plastic, there has been significant reduction in single use plastic. Recently, a rafting expedition covered the entire length of the Ganga river and could hardly find floating trash, including polythene.
Shekhawat apprised the delegation of the Jal Jeevan Mission announced by the Prime Minister on 15 August. The Mission aims to cover nearly 146 million households over a period of 5 years.
Shekhawat also said that the Government has undertaken the mapping of aquifers for scientific assessment of ground water potential of the country. “Under the National Aquifer Mapping Program, so far 1 million sq km has been completed, and another 1.5 million sq km will be mapped by March 2021,” he added.
The German side evinced keen interest in India’s initiative for river rejuvenation and lauded India’s efforts towards creating water sustainability, said a Press communication from the Ministry of Jal Shakti (Water Resources).