No plans to make Right to water fundamental: Shekhawat

Gajendra Singh Shekhawat

There is no proposal to make access to potable water a fundamental right, Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat informed Lok Sabha on Thursday.

However, Shekhawat said the government has initiated a scheme to provide piped water to every rural household. The government is going to spend substantially on the Jal Jeevan Mission, he said.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that Rs 3.5 lakh crore will be spent in the next five years under the newly formed Jal Jeevan Mission, which aims to provide piped water ('Har Ghar Jal') to all rural households by 2024.

In reply to another question, Shekhawat said Government is actively considering Interlinking of Rivers (ILR) programme as one of the interventions for sustainable management of water resources in the country.

Under the National Perspective Plan (NPP) for water transfer from water surplus basins to water-deficit basins, the National Water Development Agency (NWDA) has identified 30 links (16 under Peninsular Component and 14 under Himalayan Component) for preparation of Feasibility Reports (FRs), he said.

The implementation of NPP is likely to raise the ultimate irrigation potential through surface and groundwater resources from 140 million Ha to 175 million Ha, generation of 34 million KW of power, apart from the incidental benefits of water supply, flood control, drought mitigation, navigation, fisheries, salinity and pollution control etc. 

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