‘Israeli Cos Can Help India Deal with Water Crisis’
New Delhi: Israel is in hot pursuit of the water business in India, and is eagerly awaiting Narendra Modi’s visit to the country, which will be the first by an Indian Prime Minister, Israel’s ambassador Daniel Carmon has said. Israeli firms have the solutions to tackle acute water scarcity and have ensured adequate supply in the country despite it facing seven droughts in a decade, Carmon told ET in an interview.
The dates of Modi’s “historic” visit have not been finalised yet, but he is already excited about the prospect of taking the Indian prime minister to a town that sounds like his name —Modi’in — not far from Tel Aviv.
Carmon also said Israel was serious about participating in the make-in-India initiative, including the defence sector, which is a key element of bilateral ties.
“In the field of defence, Israeli companies are already making in India. Some have already liaisoned with Indian companies… Manufacturing of defence system in India and growing business is the idea of Israeli companies,” he said. In June, India’s water resources minister Uma Bharti is scheduled to visit Israel in search of appropriate technologies to address India’s acute water crisis and she is expected to interact with Israeli companies in this field.
Carmon said Israel’s prime minister had already communicated to India about water technologies available with hundreds of Israeli companies. The country has offered to build a government-to-government structure in which a consortium of Israeli firms can provide the technology that Indian wants.
“In the last decade, we have suffered from seven years of drought. There was national scarcity of water in Israel,” he said. “Some technologies were developed and some technologies were revived, including desalination. There is no lack of water in Israel, which is unique for our region where we are the only one to have water… This is one thing we are offering to India.”
Car=mon said the nature of technologies offered would depend on what India seeks as Israeli firms have a wide spectrum of capabilities. “Opportunities are endless,” he said. Some companies can help manage municipal water waste, some can liaison with hundreds of smart cities coming up in India to manage their water resources. “Companies can partner to purify water. In the Ganga rejuvenation project, we can decide a certain area on the Ganga…where a plant or system can be used to purify or reuse or do something with water with Israeli capability.”
He said the Indian side had responded positively to Israel’s offer for a government-to-government initiative on water. “Water delegations have been visiting Israel. Just a month ago, there was a delegation from Maharashtra that visited Israel. Our minister of agriculture was here in India and he was in Maharashtra, meeting with the CM,” Carmon said.
He said they expect Israel president Reuven Rivlin to visit India and his country is looking forward to Modi’s visit. “It will be historic as it will be the first time first Indian prime minister will visit us. In 2017, we are going to celebrate and it will be an historic moment as we will celebrate 25 years of our diplomatic relationship with India,” Carmon said.
Israeli ambassador Daniel Carmon ET PHOTO