The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation organized a National Consultation on Swajal Community Approach to Rural Water in the capital on 22nd March 2018 to mark World Water Day. Swajal is a model for self-ownership and self-management of water resources in a community by members of the community itself.
The Swajal model was first tried in the Uttarakhand area of undivided Uttar Pradesh around 20 years back and is now being scaled up at the national level with special focus on water-scarce areas.
The Minister of State, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri S.S Ahluwalia, in his inaugural address at the Consultation, spoke about respecting natural resources and conserving them to conserve humankind. He said that this ethic of conservation and community participation is at the core of the Swajal initiative.
The main objective of the re-launch of the initiative, he said, is to make an effort to deliver tapped water to every household in the country through decisions made by the community, for the community, of the resources of the community. He also spoke about the importance of behavior change among the people of the country towards payment of user fees for clean water supply, to ensure that not only are the costs of water collection, purification and distribution are met, but also that the people value and conserve the water supplied to them.
He said that, on World Water Day, it was important for all members of society to pledge to conserve water so that our future generations do not have to face the water crisis that parts of the country and world face today
The Secretary, Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Shri Parameswaran Iyer, in his keynote address on the occasion, welcomed the experienced practitioners and experts with grassroots experience present at the consultation, and said that Swajal is a fitting theme to be selected by the Ministry to focus on World Water Day as it will help in reviving community approaches to drinking water in the country again.
Highlighting the importance of #community approaches to water conservation on #WorldWaterDay, MOS Shri @SSAhluwaliaMP, also encouraged the adoption of traditional approaches to water management at the National Consultation on Swajal organised by the Ministry. @swachhbharat pic.twitter.com/z4EadjT2eb— Param Iyer (@paramiyer_) March 22, 2018
He said that the Swajal pilot is going to be launched in 6 States, including water conservation, watershed development on a large scale. This will also be launched in the 115 aspirational districts selected by the Prime Minister for focus on all-round development.
The technical sessions on the occasion included presentations by experts, practitioners, and State governments on the initiatives undertaken by them to conserve water. The sessions began with a presentation from Shri Shishir Sinha, Development Commissioner, Government of Bihar, on the initiative "Har Ghar Nal ka Jal", the Bihar government's resolve to provide piped drinking water facility to every household of the State over the next 4 years through community approaches to the water supply.
(This is a reproduced press release from the government of India as it is. Devdiscourse bears no responsibility towards grammatical or factual errors that may have been presented in the report.)