Newdelhi:12/11/20:Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, presided over the concluding day of the 2nd National Water Awards prize distribution ceremony today. The Awards were inaugurated on 11 November by the Shri M. VenkaiahNaidu, Hon. Vice President of India. Shri Rattan Lal Kataria, Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Shri U.P. Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Jal Shakti, Shri Anil Joshi, Padma Bhushan and noted environmentalist and Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, DG, NMCG were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Shri Shekhawat said the entire world is grappling with Covid-19 pandemic and there is no one who is notgetting affected by it. Similarly, he said that problem of water is faced by the entire world. In India also, over 100 crore people are affected by water issues even today that shows the enormity of the challenge at hand. It is in this context that the winners of these Awards deserve a special applause for playing their part in finding solutions to the water problems in their areas. He said that the world needs to come together to face challenges in the water sector in the same way as the world got together to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. He emphasised that all of us should introspect and look for opportunity in calamity. Shri Shekhawat also stressed on the importance of water to ensure country’s food security.
The categories in which Awards include Best Village Panchayat, Best Urban Local Body, Best Research/ Innovation/ New Technology, Best Education/ Mass Awareness effort, Best TV show, Best Newspaper, Best School, Best Institution/ RWA/ Religious Organisation, Best Industry, Best NGO, Best Water User Association and Best Industry for CSR Activity.
Congratulating all the winners, Minister of State for Jal Shakti, Shri Rattan Lal Katariasaid that the Ministry is committed to the cause of Jal Samridh Bharat. He lauded the Dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for addressing the water related issues in a holistic and comprehensive manner by establishing the Ministry of Jal Shakti.He complimented the Union Minister for Jal Shakti for taking the Ministry to newer heights with his commitment. Shri Kataria said that National Water Awards is a right step in the direction of spreading the message of water conservation and serves as a platform where all stakeholders can come together. He urged everyone to judiciously use water and believed that the Awards will help in bringing about a behavioural change in the water sector.
Welcoming the guests, Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, DG, NMCG apprised the audience about the steps being taken under NamamiGange Programme and said that people’s participation is central to the success of Clean Ganga Mission.
Out of 1112 valid applications, a total of 98 winners were selected in 16 categories. The categories in which entries were invited include Best State, Best District, Best Village Panchayat, Best Urban Local Body, Best Research/ Innovation/ New Technology, Best Education/ Mass Awareness effort, Best TV show, Best Newspaper, Best School, Best Institution/ RWA/ Religious Organisation, Best Industry, Best Water Regulatory Authority, Best Water Warrior, Best NGO, Best Water User Association and Best Industry for CSR Activity. Water Users Association and Best Industry for CSR Activity are the two categories which were included in National Water Awards 2019. Few of these categories have sub-categories in different zones of the country. The winners were felicitated with trophies/citation. Except for three categories – ‘Best State’, ‘Best State’ and ‘Best Water Regulatory Authority’, winners from the rest thirteen categories were awarded cash prizes.
The National Water Awards 2019 was launched in September 2019 on MyGov portal and entries were also invited by Central Groundwater Board. The Jury Committee was headed by Shri Shashi Shekhar, Former Secretary, Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. Two Screening Committees with members from CGWB and CWC assisted the Jury Committee in studying the applications and selecting the winners.National Water Awardees, delegates and audience joined LIVE through virtual platform.