West Bengal’s Water Resources Investigation and Development Minister, Saumen Kumar Mahapatra, on March 22, 2017, said that the state government will not impose water tax on the public. “As per the government’s resolve to ensure free health services to everyone, we cannot impose water tax,” Mahapatra said.
Mahapatra said that awareness among people can stop wastage of water by up to 80%. “We are celebrating this day at a block level, everywhere in the state. From workshops at chambers in the city, to ‘Jal Dharo Jal Bharo’ campaigns at the panchayat level, we are trying to involve every segment of the society,” the minister said.
Mahapatra warned that the next war could well be fought over water, as ground water is depleting due to misuse of water resources. “For sustainable and judicial use of water resources, we are implementing ‘Jal Dharo Jal Bharo’ and rainwater harvesting campaigns,” the minister said during the ‘World Water Day 2017‘ function at the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“As part of this campaign, my department has created 1,86,000 ponds all over the state in the past six years, which is well above the target of 50,000, set by chief minister Mamata Banerjee,” he claimed. Academy of Water Technology and Environment Management’s director, Ashim Kumar Bhattacharya said that India will be ‘water starved’ by 2050 and ‘water stressed’ by 2025, if the misuse of water resources continues in the same manner.