India is “very sensitive” about rivers in the border areas, Union Minister Uma Bharti said today and stressed that water will play an important role in strengthening ties with neighbouring Nepal and Bangladesh. “Rivers and water will play important roles in strengthening our relations with neighbours like Nepal and Bangladesh… we are very sensitive about rivers in border areas,” she was quoted as saying by an official statement. The Union Water Resources Minister said this during a seminar organised by the Central Water Commission (CWC) here on the occasion of World Water Day.
She, however, evaded any reference to the Indus river, the water of which is shared by India and Pakistan. Bharti said India is moving very fast towards becoming an important world power and water will play an important role in country’s development in the days to come. “Water can be bane in the form of floods and boon if utilised for irrigation,” she said, adding the government is keen to solve the problem of flood and drought through inter-linking of rivers.
Referring to the Inter-state River Water Disputes (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which proposes setting up of single and permanent tribunal, Bharti said it can become a model for other ministries to resolve disputes between states. Minister of State for Water Resources Vijay Goel, ministry secretary Amarjit Singh and CWC chairperson Narendra Kumar also addressed the seminar themed ‘Waste Water – Monitoring and Management’.
Bharti stressed on recycling and reusing waste water to address water woes. “We can reuse grey water in gardens, industries, for irrigation and for other purposes. By exploiting this valuable resource, we will make the water cycle work better for every living beings and help in achieving the sustainable development goal,” she said.