Appeal to save Swami Gyanswarup Sanand who is on fast from last 35 days to save Gangaji
This petition is now closed.
End date: Aug 03, 2018
Signatures collected: 29
Signature goal: 1000000
Dear fellow Indians,
We are on a brink of time where development can cause us more harm than advantage. One of the most important issue is the development which is based on altering the natural flow of the Ganga river. There are 2 tributeries of River Ganga, river Alaknanda and river Mandakini, there is planning to put 2 projects under the names of Continue reading “Support Swami Sananda on “Save Ganga” Campaign” →
VIJAYAPURA DECLARATION (18 August 2017)
To ensure water, food and livelihood security and climate resilience
through a drought and flood free India
Water security alone will ensure food & livelihood security and mankind’s resilience in the face of climate change.
We the people, assembled together at Vijayapura,
Karnataka State, India, from 101 river basins and sub-basins of India, to share issues, challenges, experiences, best practices and expertise and to evolve a model of Jala Saksharta (Water-Literacy) and Jala-Sanskruti (WaterCulture) in order to further integrate, motivate and mobilize Sant, Samaj, Shasan and Mahajan (Spiritual-Mentors, People, Government & Resource-Mentors) as inclusive stake-holders in the Mission of building an India free of droughts and floods, with water, food and livelihood security ensured and hence resilient in the face of the incremental
climate changes that threaten the present and the future.
“21 rivers have been listed for creation of River Parliament
with specific individuals and river-basin teams
having taken up the task of creating the same to further the aims and objectives inherent in this declaration.”
Now, having accepted the above as guidelines for placing the river-basin as the basic unit for civilizational planning and reform, we, the people of 101 river basins assembled here in Vijayapura do pledge, individually and collectively, that we are citizens of our river-basin first and that our land-based identities are secondary to our water-based identities and loyalties – and we shall abide by this wider integrative interpretation and living-expression of our relationship with each other and with nature – in spirit, in word and in action, in values, in strategies, in legislations and in administrative partnerships and cultural and civilizational-synergies across existing borders of all types which divide humans from humans and which divide human beings from nature.
Best practices from the host Karnataka State which can be nationally shared and replicated :
|||Soil and water conservation in rainfed crop areas which do not have the benefit of dam and canal irrigation is taken as a priority on equal footing with irrigated crop areas|
|||Micro Irrigation Project as implemented in Ramthal, Bagalkot District, must be replicated|
|||Filling tanks & lakes with river water, as successfully implemented at Begum Talab|
|||Krishi Bhagya projects in Karnataka as low-cost innovations where rain water run-off fills farm-ponds for supplementary irrigation for agricultural sustainability|
|||Revival of traditional heritage water-harvesting and distribution systems which were established in the past by benevolent rulers like Adil Shahi Dynasty|
The water crisis is increasing in the subcontinent of India, in the 21st century this crisis is becoming increasingly deep. At present, 413 districts out of total 707 districts of the country are facing increasing water crisis, this availability and requirement are continuously decreasing. The level of ground water is constantly going down, in many areas, the level of ground water has gone down so much that the area has come under the over exploited category. Handpumps and tube wells have stopped giving water, the flow of water in the rivers is continuously decreasing. The water of the dams constructed for irrigation is being preserved for drinking and not for irrigation. In the coming years, only the availability of water will be ensured for the supply of drinking water from the dark banks of India. The water crisis is becoming even more acute due to increasing consumption and increasing urbanization in India. As a result of increasing urbanization, underground water is also being exploited in many cities of the world and also promoting deforestation that is also enhancing water crisis as Forest plays an important role in the conservation and purification of the water resources, it prevents the polluting elements from reaching rivers, prevents floods.
The level of consumption of water in any country is an important indicator of the level of economic development there. People from developing countries spend less per person water with respect to developed countries. In addition, most of the use of water resources in developing countries is spent in agriculture, and in almost all the developed countries, there is almost uniform use in agriculture and industries. The main reason for water pollution in urban areas is the polluted water of drains and chemicals emissions of industries which flow into the rivers, which made almost all the rivers in India polluted. If the monsoon comes late, the condition of the shortage of rainfall is created, then the situation of dispute for the use of river water generated. According to statistical analysis, in the year 2030, there is a possibility of an increase in water scarcity. More than 50 percent of the drinking water requirement in India could not be fulfilled, which will lead to a greater difference in demand and supply, due to which the poor and weak sections of the country will be in deep crisis. There will be more serious crisis related to water distribution, as well as the situation of conflict that will generate law and order issue. The situation in those areas where there is water crisis is causing a bad situation of law and order.
It is necessary that the Water Security Act be prepared on the lines of the Food Security Act in India. For the creation of this law, the water man of India Rajendra Singh launched a campaign to work on water and environment throughout the country. For three consecutive years, he has drafted the Water Security Act – 2017 for the purpose of preparing this format more than 1000 people have been consulted with this topic. Seminars and workshops for the construction of water security law have been organized at 46 places across the country. This format bill has been made public for consultation many times. The Water Security Act 2017 is being published in simple language for an understanding of the people. The water security act is necessary for the wellbeing of the people and to ensure the uninterrupted development of the Nation.
The draft of the Water Security Act 2017 is being published in the public interest by the Jal Biradari & Jal Jan Jodo Abhiyan
The Water Security Act 2017
An Act to providefor settingout the practical regime of the conservation of rivers and ensuring water security for all life forms to secure water security and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
WHEREAS the Constitution of India has established democratic Republic;
AND WHEREAS democracy requires a citizenry to be able to perform their Constitutional duty to protect the environment which is vital to life;
AND WHEREAS the constitution requires the Local Bodies to protect the environment and rivers;
AND WHEREAS conservation of rivers is likely to conflict with other public interests including development projects of the Governments, optimum use of limited fiscal resources and the preservation of confidentiality of sensitive information;
AND WHEREAS it is necessary to harmonise these conflicting interests while preserving the paramountcy of the constitutional rights and democratic ideal;
NOW, THEREFORE, it is expedient to provide for empowering citizens and local bodies who desire to conserve their waterbodies and ensure water security.
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Sixty-sixth Year of the Republic of India as follows:
1. This is an Act to provide a River Conservation;
(1) This Act may be called the River Conservation Act, 2015.
(2) It extends to the whole of India except the states of Jammu and Kashmir.
(3) Save as otherwise provided, it shall be deemed to have come into force on ,2015.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires,
(1) “aggression” shall mean any act that destroys or threatens to destroy the hydrological, biological or ecological integrity of any water body through any means including but not restricted to encroachments, pollution or exploitation;
(2) “aquifer” means a geological structure or formation, or an artificial landfill, that is permeated with water or is capable of being permeated with water;
(3) “aquifer interference activity” means an activity involving the penetration of an aquifer, or the interference with water in an aquifer, or the obstruction of the flow of water in an aquifer, or the taking of water from an aquifer in the course of carrying out construction, mining, or reclaiming, or the disposal of water taken from an aquifer in the course of reclaiming, mining or construction, or the contamination of water in the aquifer with pollutants;
(4) “area sabha” or panchayat shall be a formal or informal body of local residents;
(5) “biological integrity” exists if the ability to support and maintain a balanced, adaptive community of organisms having a species composition, diversity and functional organization comparable to that of natural habitats of the region is maintained;
(6) “conservation of water bodies” means all acts that ensure the ecological, biological and hydrological integrity is preserved;
(7) “destruction of water bodies” means all acts that ensure the ecological, biological and hydrological integrity is disturbed or destroyed;
(8) “drainage basin” or “catchment area”is an extent or area of land where surface water from rain or melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another water body, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean. The drainage basin includes both the streams and rivers that convey the water as well as the land surfaces including the mountains and hills from which water drains into those channels;
(9) “ecological integrity”is maintained if, when subjected to disturbance, the water body sustains an organizing, self-correcting capability to recover toward an end-state that is ‘normal’ or ‘good’ for that system;
(10) “encroachment” shall mean undertaking, within the river conservation zone, any activities that are prohibited by this Act;
(11) “exploitation” shall mean water use made by a person exceeding the WHO norms per person;
(12) “habitat” means any census village or census town;
(13) “hydrologic integrity” exists if balanced hydrologic, hydraulic conditions on a temporal and spatial scale that are comparable to the natural characteristics of the region are maintained;
(14) “monsoon” means seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea.It includes both the south-west monsoon arriving in June as well as the north-east monsoon arriving in September.
Short title and commencement
1970- 80 के समय तालाबों से कुम्हार मिट्टी निकालते थे और अपनी चाक से मिट्टी के बर्तन पानी के मटके बनाए जाते थे गांव के लोग मई जून के महीने में अपने मिट्टी के मकानों की मरम्मत करने के लिए बैलगाड़ी से तालाबों की मिट्टी लाते थे जिससे मकानों की मरम्मत की जाती थी यहां तक की खपरैल भी तालाब किनारे बनाए जाते थे, छोटे-छोटे बच्चे अपने अपने चाचा,पापा, दादा ,भैया लोगों से मिट्टी के खिलौने बनवाते थे यहां तक की घर की महिलाएं अपने घरों के साज सज्जा के लिए पुताई रंगाई भी तालाबों की मिट्टी से की जाती थी घरों की रसोईया में चूल्हे भी तालाबों की मिट्टी के हुआ करते थे और तो और लोग बर्तन धुलने नहाने कपड़े धुलने के लिए मई-जून में मिट्टी रख लिया करते थे अपने अपने घरों पर।तालाब अनायास मई-जून में खुद जाते थे और साल भर की तालाबो से गाद निकल आती थी कोई भी डिसिल्टिंग या खुदवाई के लिए बजट नहीं आता था और ना ही तालाबों के नाम पर भ्रष्टाचार हुआ करता था जैसे ही बरसात के समय में प्रथम या दूसरी बारिश में ही तालाब पानी से लबालब भर जाते थे लेकिन आज वर्तमान में बढ़ती आबादी,औद्योगीकरण,शहरीकरण और भौतिकतावादी जीवन के चलते तालाबों पर प्रहार किया गया पहले तो तालाब में आ रहे जल के स्रोतों को नष्ट किया गया धीरे धीरे अतिक्रमण किया जाने लगा कच्चे मकानों की जगह पक्के मकान,मिट्टी के बर्तन की जगह प्लास्टिक फाइबर के बर्तन ले लिए मटके की जगह फ्रिज ने ले लिया मिट्टी के चूल्हे की जगह LPG गैस चूल्हा ले लिया अब तो जो तालाब बचे हैं या तो अपनी जिंदगी से जूझ रहे हैं या फिर विलुप्त हो गए यह हमें जानना होगा कि तालाब नहीं जिंदगी सुख रही है अगर समय रहते नहीं चेते तो तालाबों को सिर्फ किताबों में पढ़ा जाएगा और कहा जाएगा यह जो बस्ती है इस बस्ती का नाम से कभी यहां पर तालाब हुआ करता था और वर्तमान में जल संकट की तबाही सूखे की समस्या जलवायु परिवर्तन सुखते/ लुप्त होते तालाब हैं।तालाब नहीं जिंदगी सूख रही हैं।
The three-day national water convention organized by Jal Jan Jodo Abhiyan and Jal Biradari and supported by Department of Water Resources, Government of Karnataka where more than 15000 Participants of 101 rivers Yatra of India for water literacy from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and Goa to Guwahati have shared their experiences. Hundreds of water activists under the leadership of Magsaysay and Stockholm Water Awards winner Dr. Rajendra Singh, popularly known as the
Waterman of India, had launched nationwide “Water Literacy Yatras” on May 28 this year – from Kanyakumari to Kashmir; and from Goa to Gauhati. They converged here for three-day deliberations to draft the Declaration at the National Convention for Drought Free India.
The Vijayapura Declaration is the third major declaration adopted since February this year by water activists under the guidance of Dr. Rajendra Singh. The other two declarations were the Patna Declaration which was released by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar in Patna in February that called for holding further deliberations on siltation issues to ensure the incessant flow of river Ganga. Subsequently, the Delhi Declaration, released in May, called for formulation of a comprehensive National Silt Management Policy for Himalayan and alluvial rivers, as well as a review of the Farakka barrage on river Ganga. 21 River Basine organization were formed including of Major River Basins Ganga, Yamuna, Krishna, Kaveri, Mahanadi, Godavari, Narmada etc. In those River Parliament, all those Activists discussed and contributed the Vijaypura Declaration.
Inauguration of the convention by Water Resources Minister, Government of Karnataka, MB Patil by the establishment of Kalash (jal Kalash sthapana) that contained water of 101 rivers of India collected through a nationwide Yatra on water literacy from Kanyakumari to Kashmir and Goa to Guwahati.
Waterman of India Rajendra Singh called the event very significant as it saw the amalgamation of Raj, Samaj and Sant (government, society, and saints). He said these are all people who are concerned about water, soil, forests and other natural resources. About the dignitaries sitting on the stage including: MB Patil, HK Patil, Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister, Government of Karnataka, retired Supreme Court judge Justice V. Gopal Gowda, Kath Siddheswar Swamiji of Sholapur, Siddheswar Swamiji of Bijapur, Prof. Vikram Soni, Prof. Rajendra Poddar, Sanjay Singh national convener Jal
Jan Jodo Abhiyan (JJJA), Dr. Mahantesh Biradara, publicity officer of National Water
Convention and others, the Waterman said they have all set benchmarks in the sectors that they are working. He also expressed gratitude towards them for doing a remarkable contribution in water conservation in the country.
He said that through this program, we need to find out the reasons for droughts and floods in the country and to chalk out the ways to address them. He said that there was a lot of enthusiasm and support during the nationwide water literacy yatra and that is reflecting in the convention as well. Singh said that in the next three days everyone who has come here from various quarters of the nation would be given the opportunity to share their knowledge about the issues related to water and ways to address them. He said that based on the information gathered from all, a declaration would be prepared which will guide people to work in their respective regions for water literacy and saving rivers and other water bodies.
Later, MB Patil talked about the irrigation and water conservation activities being carried out in the state and said that the declaration that will be prepared by the end of the threeday function would change the history of water conservation work in the country. The Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister of the state, HK Patil said it’s a very meaningful program as every part of the country is facing drought. He said, “We will plant more trees and change the situation.”
Justice V. Gopal Gowda said for people to enjoy the actual freedom it was important to ensure water security for everyone. The water security will also lead to economic selfreliance for the people, he said. Kath Siddheswar Swamiji of Kolapur said that most of the droughts in the country are man-made and very fewer droughts are natural. He said that clouds never rain for people but they rain for the trees if we don’t plant trees, we won’t have rainfall either. He said that even during the monsoon season, water supply in many cities is happening through water tankers in Karnataka. He said to ensure rainfall we need to plant more trees and improve the health of the soil. Siddheswar Swamiji of Bijapur also stressed on the issues of planting trees and conserving the natural resources like water, forest and soil for the prosperity of the society and its people.
The technical session began with a presentation by the Department of Water Resouces, Government of Karnataka that highlighted the reasons of water scarcity in the state and steps being undertaken by the department to address the crisis. It underlined the scenario of water resource utilization, supply and demand side management, issues related to canal irrigation etc.
While coordinating the technical session, Jalpurush Dr. Rajendra Singh said that there was a need for the people to come together and start working on their own and not depend much on the political and administrative systems as they create boundaries between the people. He said for the peaceful co-existence of the people in the society, it was important to forget the political and administrative boundaries and look forward to the boundaries of the rivers as they never discriminate or create boundaries, it’s we who do that out of arrogance. Water security cannot be ensured unless the rights of the rivers were safeguarded.
The Waterman exhorted everyone to go and work on the rivers in their respective regions to bring peace and prosperity in the society. Fighting over water and water bodies would never bring peace to the society, he said. Singh said that many cases of conflicts over water are pending in the courts but the Indian judiciary isn’t capable of solving them as it can be seen in the case of Cauvery river’s dispute which is pending in courts for last 45 years. He appealed to the people to take small efforts of water conservation in their areas as such efforts reduce the chances of corruption. He said that science, engineering, and technology of India never cared about the freedom of the rivers. The scientific community in India never thought about how could power be generated and irrigation is done without obstructing the natural flow of the rivers. He questioned how can we call the today’s rivers as rivers when they have lost their capacity in them to sustain lives due to less amount of water, oxygen, and rampant pollution etc.
The session also saw various river activists coming from various states and regions of the country and sharing the information about the issues being faced by the rivers and their initiatives to protect them. These included: Sudarshan Das from Odisha working on Mahanadi; Mathkar Kaka from Seva Gram Ashram, Wardha; Dr. Snehal Dande from Mumbai working on Ganga in Bihar and West Bengal; Pankaj Malviya who carried out yatra along Ganga in Bihar; Aniket, Manavlok, Maharashtra worked for rejuvenation of two rivers – Horna and Vana; K. Neera of Karnataka; Dr. Dwarka Das Lohiya, Manavlok, Maharashtra; Satya and Amol Gandhi working on Krishna river; Prof. Vikram Soni; Ramesh, working on Yamuna river; Narendra Chung, working on Chandrabhaga and Bhima rivers in Maharashtra; Dura Swami and Dhanraj from Tamil Nadu; Sarla Ji from Kerala and others.
While moderating the technical session, Waterman Dr. Rajendra Singh asked the participants from various regions of the country to form a Nadi sansad in the name of their rivers and chalk out plans during their respective river parliaments of the convention to carry out water literacy activities in their local languages and dialects to make it effective. He said that natural droughts in India are not more than 40% whereas over 60% droughts are man-made.
The Waterman said that for preventing droughts and floods, it was important to stop soil erosion by improving its health through the plantation. He said that checking soil erosion would also prevent silting and hence the floods. The droughts and floods should not be looked at separately as they are two facets of the same coin.
Day-2: River Parliament
Second Day was dedicated for River Basin Organizations, Several Halls Activists of Specific River Basin started discussing problems and to develop strategies to resolve those problems and specific Action Plan. Reports of discussion of specific River Basin are shared in Annexure I. Some overall major point to be discussed are in those Halls:
River Action Plan
The Technical session
on the day-3 of the National, Water Convention saw the discussion over the first draft of
Vijayapura Declaration after its presentation to the delegates by Jal Biradari’s Vinod
Bodhankar. The key decisions to have been included in the draft “to ensure water, food and livelihood security and climate resilience through a drought and flood-free India” included:
The declaration also stated, “Water security alone will ensure food security and mankind’s resilience in the face of the climate change.” A total of 21 rivers were listed for the creation of river parliaments which would work for protecting the rivers’ health and ensuring their natural flow.
Bodhankar during the presentation said that the implementation of the decisions included in the declaration would need contribution from all sections of the society. He said that Sant, Samaj, Sashan and Mahajan (saints, society, government and all other kindhearted and concerned people) are the four wheels of a vehicle and therefore, everyone would have to play their role in seeing the execution of the Declaration’s recommendations.
The presentation of the declaration’s draft was followed by some suggestions for some other important issues to be incorporated in it.
Dr. Snehal S. Donde underlined two issues which were: (1) the issue of rehabilitation on Ganga basin beside the issue of encroachment and (2) the introduction of law regarding formation of ‘no-man’s land’ in Ganga basin due to erosion and sedimentation
Riaz Ahmad of Vijayapura suggested that: (1) declaration should also aim at ensuring
15% of MNREGA’s fund being spent on water-related work at the village-level like construction of wells, tanks, ponds, tube-wells etc. and (2) it should bring awareness among the farmers of the nation that India is a land of great souls like Buddha and Gandhi who advocated for simple living and minimum consumption to protect the nature from exploitation.
Asha from Vijayapura advised that people should be educated to use their votes carefully and cast them only to those who include the issues of water, land and forest in their manifestoes.
Towards the end of the technical session, water warriors from various parts of the country working on different rivers and water bodies were felicitated by the Waterman of India, Dr. Rajendra Singh by tying turban and giving a certificate.
In his address during the concluding session, Water Man Dr. Rajendra Singh applauded the good work done by the Karnataka government in water conservation sector in the last three years. It was these unique initiatives of the state government in the water management sector like interlinking rivers with tanks that motivated us to hold the national convention in Vijayapura, the water heritage city of the country instead of Delhi. Dr. Singh also thanked the chief minister of the state for allowing the event to be held in Vijayapura.
Highlighting the key points of the Vijayapura Declaration the Waterman said it would aim at checking erosion, rejuvenating rivers, rainwater harvesting, recharging aquifers to make the water flow and others. The Magsaysay award winner exhorted the Raj, Samaj, and Sant to work together in this direction so that decisions of the declaration could be implemented. He expressed faith that the governments both at the center and in different states would understand the gravity of the situation and cooperate in seeing the decisions being implemented at the ground-level.
Vinod Bodhankar of Jal Biradari was felicitated by the chief minister of Karnataka and Waterman of India for his extraordinary work of reaching out to over 2 lakh school children and educating them not to let plastic reach the rivers by doing away with its use in their daily lives.
This was followed by the adoption of Vijayapura Declaration in the presence of the chief minister, Siddaramaiah, Dr. Rajendra Singh, water resources minister of the state, MB Patil, Swami Mrityunjaya, Swami Murugam and others.
While addressing the convention, the state chief minister said that Karnataka has seen droughts in 13 out of last 16 years and therefore, the state government is taking special initiatives to make the state drought resilient through projects like micro irrigation, interlinking rivers with tanks and others. Calling the National Water Convention as a historic event, he said that implementation of the declaration would be crucial for the state in terms of water security.
The delegates at the national convention demanded a ‘one-day special session’ to be held on the Vijayapura Declaration at NITI Ayog, parliament and in the state assemblies to discuss and deliberate upon implementing its recommendations.
The concluding session was followed by lunch after which the Waterman of India met the delegates from across the nation informally and expressed gratitude towards them for coming and contributing in the drafting of the declaration. He also thanked all those who were looking after the management of the national event. Besides, he also urged all those working in water conservation sector to refrain from being proud of their work as even an iota of pride would lead to a decline in their spirit of continuing their noble work.
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The Jal Jan Jodo Abhiyan and Jal Biradari, supported by many civil society organizations, organized a National Water Convention with a special focus on Bundelkhand on 2-3rd December 2017 in Khajuraho, under their national drought-free India campaign. Continue reading “National Water Convention – Khajuraho” →
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