Major damage to water resources is done by pollution from various point and non- point sources: Bishweswar Tudu

New Delhi : Water requirement of the country, based on population projection of 1.33 billion and 1.58 billion for the years 2025 and 2050 respectively, as assessed by National Commission on Integrated Water Resources Development (NCIWRD-1999) constituted by Ministry of Water Resources is 843 BCM and 1180 BCM respectively. The details are attached at Annexure-I

Further , as per study titled ” Reassessment of Water Availability in India Using Space Inputs, 2019″ conducted by CWC in collaboration with NRSC, average annual water resources available in the country is assessed as 1999.20 BCM.

Government of India has launched a number of schemes for proper use of the water resources including water of the rivers which are as follows:

  1. National Projects: Government of India has approved a scheme of National Projects for implementation during XIth plan with a view to expedite completion of identified National Projects for the benefit of the people. National Projects are provided financial assistance for cost of irrigation and drinking water components in the form of Central grant. Till date, the Government of India has included 16 projects under the scheme of National Projects. Details of these 16 National projects is attached at Annexure -II.
  2. Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY): This was launched by Government of India during the year 2016 with an aim to enhance physical access of water on farm and expand cultivable area under assured irrigation, improve on farm water use efficiency, introduce sustainable water conservation practices etc. It is umbrella scheme with the motto of providing ‘Har khet Ko Pani’ ensuring access to some means of protective irrigation to all agriculture farms in the country to produce per drop more crop, thus bringing much desired rural prosperity. The projects of PMKSY – AIBP are spread in 19 states and two Union Territories (Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh). As on date total 112 number of projects are included in the PMKSY – AIBP, out of which 50 projects are completed so far. Annexure-III. Earlier schemes like Repair, Renovation and Restoration (RRR) of Water Bodies and Surface Minor Irrigation (SMI) Scheme have been merged in this programme.
  3. Special Package to Maharashtra: Government of India has sanctioned a special package for completion of Irrigation Projects to address agrarian distress in Vidarbha and Marathwada and other chronically drought prone areas of Rest of Maharashtra in 2018. The package consists of 8 Major and Medium Irrigation (MMI) projects and 83 Surface Minor Irrigation (SME) Projects.
  4. Relining of Sarhind Feeder of Punjab and Rajasthan Feeder: Government of India has also sanctioned the lining/reviving of Rajasthan Feeder for 96.00 km and Sarhind Feeder for 100.00 KM for the states of Rajasthan and Punjab during the year 2016 to address the problems of seepage and water logging in the most vulnerable reaches. Similar works of relining of canals are also being done by states. In addition to this works to repair the embankments/ dykes along the river stem are executed by State Governments to contain the flood water.

5. Additionally, projects of canal linings, repairs of embankments/dykes along the rivers to contain flood water are also taken up for execution by State Governments at their level.

Operation and maintenance to prevent deterioration and control damage of physical infrastructures such as Dams, Tanks and Canals and their restoration is regularly taken up as standard exercise. Details of a couple of specific schemes/ projects namely, RRR and relining of Rajasthan and Punjab Feeders have been given in reply of part (b) of this question.

Major damage to water resources is done by pollution from various point and non- point sources. Major factors of pollution in rivers and other water resources are discharge of untreated / partly treated municipal waste water through drains, discharge of industrial effluent, improper solid waste management, illegal ground water abstraction, encroachments in flood plains/ river banks, deforestation, improper water shade management and non maintenance of e-flows and agriculture run off etc.

The number of polluted river stretches has reduced from 351 identified in year 2018 to 311 in year 2022. Improvement in water quality has been observed in 180 out of 351 Polluted River Stretches (PRS) identified during year 2018. Out of 180 PRS, 106 river stretches have come out of the list of polluted stretches and remaining 74 have shifted to lower priority class. Assessment of water quality over the years reveals that in the year 2015, 70% of rivers monitored (275 out of 390) were identified as polluted, whereas in the year 2022 only 46% of rivers monitored (279 out of 63) are identified as polluted.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Shri Bishweswar Tudu in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.

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