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Did you say water?!? Take a walk
If you were astounded that India outrightly refused the World Bank’s $900 million annual water sector lending, pray read on, for the reason was not the 16% annual interest they were charging. The fact is, India really is not short of money for the water sector. Hadn’t dear Finance Minister P. Chidambaram allocated Rs.1,800 crore to NABARD for building 700 million new wells? And if this seemed less, then there is the Rs.12,400 crore grant for water related issues... and a separate Rs.100 crore for water harvesting programmes. As we said, it’s not about the money, but about the strategy!
There is an urgent need for public policy to be transformed from a purely centralised approach to involving local bodies in deciding regional water mobilisation and usage methodologies, of course, under regulated guidelines and norms. Gita Kavarana of Centre for Science and Environment suggested to B&E that for this, proper resources, financial and technical support, incentives for people and effective consultancy support are imperative. Though the famous village in Maharashtra, where 75% of land is sculpted and water-fed, resulting in productivity worth Rs.5 million, is always talked about, can’t we have many more? What? Er...
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