The Hush Post: 70 percent of the surface of the Earth is covered with water. However, out of all the water that is available, merely 2.5 percent is classified as ‘freshwater’ with the rest being sea water. While most people tend to believe that all of freshwater can be drunk, that is not true. Most of the freshwater is trapped in the polar fields, and glaciers also hold a substantial amount of freshwater. Thus, the only water that we can actually consume, is in rivers, ponds, lakes, wells and springs.
But humans being humans, we have polluted these few water resources like anything. Various studies have concluded that India will become a ‘water scarce’ country by 2025. That is merely 7 years from now.
Taking cognizance of this, the Water Resources Minister of India, Mr Nitin Gadkari (who also handles the Road, Transport and Highways ministry) has promised that the country will soon have access to water, and that too at a price of just 5 paise per litre. No, that is not a typo. 5 PAISE. Honestly.
The minister, who was addressing a gathering at the 5th Nadi Mahotsav in Madhya Pradesh, said that the government was in the process of converting sea water into potable water. He also revealed that trials of conversion of sea water into potable water have begun in Tuticorin, located in Tamil Nadu.
Stressing on the need to conserve water, the minister also talked about the government’s plan to sell treated sewage water to wash railway coaches and to power industries.
In 2017, Mr. Gadkari had talked about creating a ‘water grid’ that would divert water to areas which were facing scarcity. This would be something on the lines of the power grid of the country. Highlighting the seriousness of the issue, he said he would start working on five projects of river connectivity. In the next three months, the proposed water grid would begin work on three out of the five river inter linking projects.
Also highlighting the Indian Government’s plan of making the Ganga ‘aviral’ and ‘nirmal’, he promised to increase irrigation capacity in the country and assured that by March 2019, the Ganga would be cleaned up by around 80-90%. In order to achieve this, there are 189 initiatives for Clean Ganga that will help in providing clean water.