‘We have 56% more water in reservoirs than we had last year’-THE HINDU-28-04-2020


Under a lockdown with summer approaching and with the injunction of constant hand washing as a preventative for the spread of COVID-19, how is India placed in terms of just water availability. I’m happy to say we have 56% more water than we had last year in the reservoirs, which is 47% higher than the average for the last 10 years. So in terms of reservoirs etc. we have no worries. Every summer there is always an issue with regard to availability etc. This year, because the COVID-19 crisis lockdown has entailed that people stay at home, it is even more important to ensure supply.

The first thing I did is to hold review meetings with water Ministers of all States and asked them to ensure that there is enough drinking water during the lockdown and the weeks ahead. We have gone over the reservoir situation and of water works. The Jal Jeevan Mission was launched by hon’ble Prime Minister in September last year and yes, it is a time-bound programme, with its urgency underlined by the fact that COVID-19 is accompanied by lockdowns and the emphasis on hand-washing as a preventative. We have been creative in terms of trying to reach some of our goals despite the lockdown disruption.

Your home State Rajasthan and particularly your constituency Jodhpur have been badly afflicted by COVID-19. Jodhpur has been badly affected and most of the cases there are because of the Tableeghi Jamaat preachers and the mishandling of the situation. My constituency also includes Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s Assembly seat and the curfew or lockdown imposed there was handled very badly and very leniently.

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