Involving community participation can go a long way in effective water conservation to ensure water availability and rejuvenation of traditional water sources. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while addressing Workshop on Water Conservation organized by Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha at Hotel Peterhoff.Shri Jai Ram Thakur said that a massive campaign would have to be launched for coping with the water crisis world-over. He said that climate change and global warming had further worsened the situation. Water conservation and water management was need of the hour and collective efforts of Government, Local Bodies and general public should be mobilized in this direction.He said special campaign would be launched for water literacy in the State so that the masses could be sensitized on this vital issue. He said that traditional methods should be adopted for water conservation. He said that it was duty of each citizen to rejuvenate water sources and save water for future generations. He said that workshop would be held at panchayati raj level to involve the elected representatives to take water conservation initiatives effectively. He said that efforts would also be made to rejuvenate old water bodies and construct new structures for rain water conservation.The Chief Minister also urged the MLAs to launch water conservation campaign in their respective areas so that Himachal Pradesh took a lead in this endeavor. He appreciated the efforts of Shri Rajinder Singh for making water conservation a mission not only in Rajasthan but throughout the country.He said that afforestation could also play a major role in water conservation and environment protection.
Speaker HP Vidhan Sabha Dr Rajiv Bindal, while welcoming the Chief Minister said that Himachal Pradesh was among the few States of the country which have plenty of rainfall. Maximum water flows down the rivers unutilized and wasted. He said it is essential that each drop of water is fully used. He said this would not only conserve water but also help in rejuvenation of rivers and rivulets to make them perennial.Leader of Congress Legislative Party Shri Mukesh Agnihotri said that keeping in view topography of different areas of the State, it requires seperate strategy for each area for water conservation. He thanked the State Vidhan Sabha Speaker Dr Rajiv Bindal for organizing this workshop.Dr. Rajinder Singh Magsaysay award winner and ‘Water Man of India’ said that the Himachal Pradesh was lucky as it has about 180 cm annual rainfall. He said that still the groundwater was declining at a greater speed. He said that about 70 per cent perennial water bodies have dried up. He stressed the need to work towards ground water conservation. He said that traditional water conservation system of India was universally acclaimed. He said that it was also need of the hour to use natural resources judiciously.President ‘Jal Biradari’ Maharashtra Shri Narinder Chug gave a presentation on the occasion.Present on the occasion were Education Minister Shri Suresh Bhardwaj, Agriculture and Tribal Development Dr. Ram Lal Markanda, Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Shri Virender Kanwar, MLAs, Additional Chief Secretary Finance Dr Shrikant Baldi, Additional Chief Secretary-cum-Principal Secretary Chief Minister Smt. Manisha Nanda, Mayor Shimla Municipal Corporation Smt. Kusum Sadret and other senior officers of the State Government.