LokSabhaTV- Nirmala Sitharaman- Budget Provisions for Jal Shakti

Nirmala Sitharaman
IIITD Student B.Tech Project. BTP Supervisor: Prof. Manohar Khushalani BTP Students: Sejal Kumar / Aysha Fazilath / Rahul Patwardhan / Vyshakh Dharan

A Panel Discussion was held on Lok Sabha TV at 1 PM and 4 PM on the 24th of January 2020 to discuss provisions for Water in Ms. Nirmala Sitaraman’s Budget Session in Lok Sabha due on 1st February. The Program was anchored by Parakram Singh Shekhawat. The panelists were Arun Tiwari, Manohar Khushalani and Himanshu Thakkar. They all went into their expectations from the budget with respect to Budget Provisions for Jal Shakti – Water. 

The anchor began the discussion with a small introduction of the Ministry of water resources (Jal Shakti Mantraley), Mr. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, the troubled state of water quality and availability through the country, and its ever arising complications. Mr. Arun Tiwari elaborated on our lack of efforts in successfully harvesting rainwater and sustaining groundwater levels, highlighting the lack of regulations surrounding these harvesting methods. The importance of sustainability was highlighted as well unless groundwater is recharged, regulated and the focus needs to be shifted to Sustainability. 

The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation, Ministry of Water Resources and Ganga Rejuvenation have been merged into the Jal Shakti Ministry under the second term of the Modi government and the Jal Shakti Ministry was allocated Rs 28,261 Crore, an 8% increase. A 10 pointer vision for the next decade was listed out by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. She elaborated that the Jal Shakti Ministry will manage the country’s water resources and water supply in an integrated holistic manner, and will work towards supplying all rural households with water supply by 2024. In the LSTV discussion, Manohar brought forward a set of important points such as the minimal increase in the budget allocated, the unsanitary sewage system, and lack of stormwater drains. He also insisted that along with budget allocation, our national lakes need to be taken care of efficiently and resurrected, and the need for the development of rural handicrafts and the need for a River Basin Authority, for the systematic distribution of water. 

The Atal Bhujal Yojna, is a scheme, also known as ‘Atal Jal’ will promote panchayat-led groundwater management and behavioral change with a primary focus on demand-side management. The scheme is aimed at

  • doubling farmers’ incomes,
  • promoting participatory groundwater management,
  • improving water use efficiency on a mass scale,
  • improving cropping pattern and
  • promoting efficient and equitable use of groundwater resources and
  • behavioral change at the community level.

Official estimates state that over INR 9 crores (90 million) toilets were constructed from 2014 when the Swacch Bharat Mission was launched under the Modi government as one of its flagship schemes. Yet, a government survey in 2017 showed that 6 out of 10 toilets built under the Swacch Bharat Mission did not have water supply, and were hence unusable.

The chemical fertilizer farming is allocated INR 80,000crores, while the green revolution farmers are allotted INR12,000crores but the Organic manure farming is allocated only INR 2 Crore, Manohar Khushalani pointed out, the obvious lack of financial support to organic farmers led to Cancer and other diseases in the cities of Punjab and Harayana, he insisted on the importance of WaterShed Management, an initiative taken by Anna Hazare previously. 

The discussion shed light upon various important aspects of Budget allocation for water conservation and also examined the various areas where more efforts are required for sustainability.

You can watch the informative debate here.

You will find more details on the next debate on LSTV on the topic of Atal Bhujal Yojna, Please find the entire debate here.

A playlist of interesting panel discussions on conservation of Water.


Manohar Khushalani

Prof. Manohar Khushalani is a former Visiting Faculty at Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi. The courses he taught were: Animation & Graphics, Non-Linear Editing for Film and Radio and Theatre Appreciation.  He has won a total of nine Excellence in Teaching awards for all the courses he has taught at IIITD Earlier he retired from Government of India as Director Environment Management, Central Water Commission and held many senior positions in the Government Based on a Belief that Culture and Environment are the two keys to global sustainability , Manohar Khushalani has launched two portals: A Portal on Environment and Water called One Vorld at url: www.onevorld.org and two Ezines on Culture called Stage Buzz at url: www.stagebuzz.org He has taught extensively in varied subjects such as Dam Safety, Instrumentation, CAD, IT, Animation, Theatre, Newspaper Editing. He has conducted Courses on Environment Management, Water Shed Development, Team Building and Personality Development. He is an Expert Member of Prasar Bharti’s Committee for Grading & Short listing Films for Telecast on all channels of Doordarshan.  He is a Radio Anchor for All India Radio and has moderated several programs for the Rajdhani Channel He is a well-known Theatre Actor/Director and Critic, has been involved in theatre since 1977. He has worked as an actor in over 50 plays with almost every leading director/Actor in the Country including Badal Sircar, Feisal Alkazi, Amal Allana, M.K. Raina, Anuradha Kapoor, Maya Rao, Manohar Singh, Prasanna, Rati Bartholomew and Sushmita Mukherji. He has been active in the social sector as a street theatre activist. As a member of Workshop Theatre, Theatre Union and Prayog, Khushalani has participated in street plays taking up major social issues such as dowry, bride burning, Sati, banned medicinal drugs and communalism. Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Can’t Pay Won’t Pay, both directed by him, received rave notices from critics and audiences alike. Other plays directed by him include Badal Sircar’s, Sagina Mahato and Boris Vian’s Empire Builders for Ruchika Theatre Group. Khushalani has also acted in a few films such as Sudhir Mishra's Hazaron Khwaishen Aisi , Shoojit Sircar’s Madras Café and Pradeep Krishan's Annie Gives Those Ones. He is an Animator & Graphics Designer and has directed a number of documentaries. He also held a number of Honorary positions and was President of North India Films Association, He was the Chairman of  Jury for UGC CEC Educational Films Competition and has been on their Preview Committee since last many years. He was on the preview committee of Door Darshan Channel 3, was a visiting Professor at National School of Drama, New Delhi, and Film & Television Institute of India, Pune, AJKMCRR, Jamia Milia Islamia and Professor in Media at FICT, Delhi  He has judged a large number of Drama Competitions and conducted a number of Theatre / Management Games Workshops with Institutions such as AIIMS, NTPC, CWPRS, NWA, Karve Nari Prakshishan Sansthan, FICT, IIT, MAMC, Gargi College, KNC, Tagore International School and Vivekananda School. He is a Theatre Critic for IIC Diary, has also been a Columnist with Midday and Pioneer Daily and wrote Column's Called Culture Cocktail and Footlights Respectively. He was also the Guest Editor for an issue on Folk Theatre of ICCR Journal Horizons. He has written for Times of Indian, Hindustan Times, Blitz, Hard News, Hindu Business Line, Theatre India & Art Times. He has designed dams and hydraulic structures for the Government. He is a programmer and has developed Engineering design software in Fortran. He is a co-author of Irrigation Practice & Design (Vol 1 to5 - 1500 pages) published by Oxford & IBH and sponsored by National Book Trust. He has been a Director, Environment and Sociology, at the National Water Academy, Khadakwasla and Director, Environment Management Directorate, Central Water Commission and Member Secretary, National Environmental Monitoring Committee for River Valley Projects. He was also Director of Instrumentation Directorate in the Dam Safety Organisation. He was Chief General Manager and Head of Water Resources at Scott Wilson and is an accredited consultant with numerous other organizations He is a Delhi Public School, BITS Pilani, IIT Delhi and FTI Pune Alumini. He was also the President of BITS Pilani Alumni Association, Pune.

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