Gu­jarat tops states on wa­ter man­age­ment

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Nation - HT Cor­re­spon­dent let­ters@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: De­spite the on­go­ing wa­ter cri­sis in Gu­jarat, the state has topped the fed­eral think tank NITI Aayog’s com­pos­ite wa­ter man­age­ment in­dex re­leased on Thursday.

Jhark­hand is the worst per­former, lead­ing a group of 15 states that per­form poorly.

The re­port has pre­dicted that by 2030, the coun­try’s wa­ter de­mand is pro­jected to be twice the avail­able sup­ply, im­ply­ing se­vere wa­ter scarcity for hun­dreds of mil­lions of peo­ple.

Mad­hya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Kar­nataka and Ma­ha­rash­tra are be­hind Gu­jarat on the in­dex, among states that have per­formed rel­a­tively well.

In the north­east­ern and Hi­malayan states, Tripura has been ad­judged as the top state in

THE RE­PORT PREDICTS THAT BY 2030, IN­DIA’S WA­TER DE­MAND WOULD BE TWICE THE SUP­PLY CUR­RENTLY AVAIL­ABLE, IN­DI­CAT­ING SE­VERE SCARCITY FOR MIL­LIONS

2016-17 fol­lowed by Hi­machal Pradesh, Sikkim and As­sam.

The think tank ranked all states across nine broad sec­tors with 28 dif­fer­ent in­di­ca­tors cov­er­ing var­i­ous as­pects of ground wa­ter, restora­tion of wa­ter bod­ies, ir­ri­ga­tion, farm prac­tices, drink­ing wa­ter, pol­icy and gover­nance, NITI CEO Amitabh Kant said.

Ac­cord­ing to a 175-page re­port on the in­dex re­leased by Min­is­ter for Wa­ter Re­sources Nitin Gad­kari, Jhark­hand, Haryana, Ut­tar Pradesh and Bi­har are worst per­form­ing states in wa­ter man­age­ment.

“In terms of in­cre­men­tal change in in­dex (over 2015-16 level), Ra­jasthan holds num­ber one po­si­tion in gen­eral states and Tripura ranks at first po­si­tion amongst North East­ern and Hi­malayan states,” the re­port said.

The re­port said In­dia is suf­fer­ing from the worst wa­ter cri­sis in its his­tory and mil­lions of lives and liveli­hoods are un­der threat.

“Cur­rently, 600 mil­lion In­di­ans face high to ex­treme wa­ter stress and about two lakh peo­ple die ev­ery year due to in­ad­e­quate ac­cess to safe wa­ter,” it said, adding that the cri­sis is only go­ing to get worse.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, 52 per cent of In­dia’s agri­cul­tural area re­mains de­pen­dent on rain­fall so the fu­ture ex­pan­sion of ir­ri­ga­tion needs to be fo­cused on last-mile ef­fi­ciency.

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