New Delhi: Given the water crisis taking centrestage, the government on Friday announced to ensure piped water supply to all rural households by 2024 under the Jal Jeevan Mission.While presenting her maiden Union Budget, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the newly set up Jal Shakti Ministry will work with states to ensure that every rural house gets water by 2024. Sitharaman’s pledge of “har ghar jal” got massive applause during her Budget presentation in the Lok Sabha. Also Read – How a psychopath killer hid behind the mask of a devout laity!”Ensuring India’s water security and providing access to safe and adequate drinking water to all Indians is a priority of the government,” she said. The government has allocated Rs 10,000 core for the National Rural Drinking Water Mission in the 2019-20 Budget as against Rs 5,500 crore in the 2018-19 (Revised) Budget. She said that the Jal Jeevan Mission will focus on integrated demand and supply side management of water at the local level, including creation of local infrastructure for source sustainability like rainwater harvesting, groundwater recharge and management of household waste water for reuse in agriculture. Also Read – Encounter under way in Pulwama, militant killedThe minister said that 1,592 blocks spread across 256 districts which were critical and over exploited had been identified for the Jal Shakti Abhiyan. Besides using funds available under various schemes, the government will explore the possibility of using additional funds available under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) for this purpose, Sitharaman said. The Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has got Rs 8,245 crore in this budget. It got Rs 7,612 crore in the 2018-19 (revised) budget. Soon after the announcement of Jal Jeevan Mission, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar hailed the Union Finance Minister for adopting “har ghar jal” scheme, which was first started by his government in the state. “The chief minister has welcomed the ‘har ghar jal’ scheme saying in Bihar. The ‘har ghar nal ka jal’ is already being pursued as part of the saat nishchay (seven resolves),” an official release said. The seven resolves were made by Kumar ahead of the 2015 assembly polls which included measures like employment to youths through skill development, uninterrupted power supply to all households and construction of toilets. While hailing the Union Budget, Bihar’s Information & Broadcasting Minister Neeraj Kumar, said, “Given that Bihar CM is known for “politics with difference”, the adoption of state’s piped water scheme by the Centre certifies that Nitish Kumar government is committed for the welfare of every section of the society.”
“It is deeply regrettable that the DPRK has shown no indication that it is willing to comply with the UN Security Council resolutions adopted in response to its two nuclear tests last year,” said International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Director General Yukiya Amano in his opening statement to a regular meeting of the agency’s Board of Governors.“I again call upon the DPRK to comply fully with its obligations under Security Council resolutions, to cooperate promptly with the Agency, and to resolve all outstanding issues, including those that have arisen during the absence of Agency inspectors from the country,” he said. According to news reports, it fired four ballistic missiles into the sea off Japan’s northwest on Monday.On Iran’s implementation of its nuclear-related commitments under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action since January 2016, Mr. Amano said the IAEA is continuing evaluations regarding the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities in that country. Wide view of delegates attending the 1453rd Board of Governors Meeting. IAEA, Vienna, Austria, 6 March 2017. Photo: IAEA/Dean Calma The Board, a policymaking body, meets five times a year at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria.On nuclear safety and security, Mr. Amano emphasised the importance of building on the Action Plan for Nuclear Safety that was adopted following the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi that occurred when an earthquake and tsunami struck in 2011.“We will consider ways of further strengthening our work in nuclear, radiation, transport and waste safety,” he said, adding that the IAEA will continue to focus on regulatory effectiveness, safety culture and capacity-building.In that regard, he stressed the importance of a peer review process under the Convention on Nuclear Safety (CNS), drawing attention to the seventh review meeting of contracting parties to CNS that will take place in Vienna from 27 March to 7 April while encouraging all countries that have not yet done so to join the CNS. On nuclear energy, Mr. Amano underscored the significant contribution of nuclear power to meeting the goal set under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change of holding the increase in global temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).