Uttar Pradesh has been awarded the first prize, followed by Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, in the recently announced National Water Awards 2020. In other categories, Vapi Urban Local Body, Gujarat won Best Urban Local Body award, Mission Paani (Network 18) won the Best Media (Print & Electronic) award, Welspun India Textile Ltd., Gujarat bagged the Best Industry award, ITC Limited, Kolkata, West Bengal won Best Industry for CSR Activities, Panchgachiya MDTW WUA, Hooghly, West Bengal, won Best Water User Association award, and Coastal Salinity Prevention Cell, Ahmedabad won the Best NGO award.
Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat announced 3rd National Water Awards 2020. Vini Mahajan, Secretary, Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation was also present on the occasion.
The ministry gave 57 awards in 11 categories – Best State, Best District, Best Village Panchayat, Best Urban Local Body, Best Media (Print and Electronic), Best School, Best Institution/RWA/Religious organisation for Campus usage, Best Industry, Best NGO, Best Water User Association, and Best Industry for CSR Activity. Some of these categories have sub-categories for different zones of the country. The awards give the opportunity to start-ups and organisations to engage and deliberate with senior policymakers on how to adopt best water resources management practices in India.
Speaking on the occasion, Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that India’s current water requirement is estimated to be around 1,100 billion cubic meters per year, projected to go up to 1,447 billion cubic meters by 2050. While the country has more than 18% of the world’s population, it has only 4% of world’s renewable water resources. It is in this backdrop that the National Water Awards (NWA) were instituted to recognise and encourage exemplary work and efforts made by states, districts, individuals, organisations, and others across the country in attaining the government’s vision of a Jal Samridh Bharat, said the minister.