Bhopal: Honoured with the Stockholm Water Prize, water activist Rajendra Singh said he was disappointed with all the political parties as none of them have given due importance to the issues of drinking water, irrigation and river protection in the country in their manifestos.
Releasing the ‘Janta Ghoshna Patra’ of the ‘Jal Jan Jodo Abhiyan’ here, Singh on Tuesday told IANS: “In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the now-ruling BJP had made many promises, but nothing happened. Now, when it’s election time again, parties are promising water conservation. But none of them have spoken on how they are going to curb the rising droughts and floods in the country and its aftermath.”
Talking about the BJP’s manifesto, Singh said: “The party has promised to come up with a ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’ and a water ministry. The mission will work towards joining big rivers in different parts of the country. But we all know that most of such missions have failed to work.”
On the Congress manifesto, Singh pointed out that the party has “superficially” spoken on cleaning the Ganga and providing safe drinking water to the people.
“They have promised a ministry for drinking water. A ministry won’t help solve water problems. Water literacy has to be increased to make people aware of the water crisis. But the Congress did not focus on that.”
Singh said that 362 districts in 16 states were struggling with droughts while states like Assam, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar face floods every year. He said this is because of the lack of proper planning by the political parties.
“The government makes plans and sanctions crores of rupees for it, but it benefits only their near and dear ones. There is a dire need to address the water issues.