New Delhi, June 5 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday acknowledged that water crisis is a major challenge across India and assured that the Namami Gange initiative to clean the river will soon show results.
Participating at an event to mark the World Environment Day here, he said that India is preparing to join the global ‘clean sea campaign’ to contribute towards clean oceans.
“We recognise the need to tackle the issue of water availability, which is becoming a major challenge in India. We have launched the Namami Gange initiative. This programme has already started giving results and will soon revive the Ganga, our most precious river,” the Prime Minister said, adding that environmental degradation hurts the poor and vulnerable the most.
It is the duty of each one of us, to ensure that the quest for material prosperity does not compromise our environment, he added.
Pointing out that India is primarily an agrarian country, Modi said that continuous availability of water for agriculture sector is important and that the Prime Minister Irrigation Scheme was launched to ensure that no farm goes without water.
“Our motto is more crop, per drop,” he added.
On pollution caused by plastics, as the Environment Day being hosted this year by India is themed “Beat Plastic Pollution”, the Prime Minister expressed concern over declining number of fishes and ocean pollution.
India produces about 25,000 tonnes of plastic waste every day, of which only 60 per cent is processed, the Environment Ministry says.
“Marine litter, especially micro-plastic, is a major trans-boundary problem. India is preparing to join the clean seas campaign,” Modi said.
However, he said, per capita plastic consumption in India is lower than that in many parts of the developed world.
Globally, about 12.7 million tonnes of plastic ends up in oceans every year. According to MacArthur Foundation, there are over 150 million tonnes of plastic in the oceans at present, which means about 1 tonne of plastic for every three tonne of fish. Plastic in oceans is likely to outweigh fishes by 2050.
“Plastic now threatens to become a menace to humanity. A lot of it never makes it to the recycling bin. Worse, a lot of it is non-biodegradable,” he said adding that ‘Clean India Mission’ has a special focus on “plastic waste management”.