The Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, R K Mathur presided over as the chief guest virtually for a day long conference on World Water Day on the theme of ‘Water Supply and Sanitation in Cold Climates- All Year 24×7 Water Supply, Waste Management’ held at Kargil today.
Speaking on the occasion, LG Mathur said that water has always remained a crucial issue. He thanked the participants from outside Ladakh for sharing their knowledge and expertise in water managing that would help Ladakh address the water shortage and conservation issues. He expressed concerns over the receding glaciers and dried up springs which are resulting in water shortages in villages. He informed that UT Administration has drafted a Ladakh Vision 2050 in which an efficient water management plan with a sustainable solution is one of the primary focuses.
The Lt. Governor observed the need to address water shortage issues in Ladakh in a sustainable way, incorporating scientific techniques and traditional good practices. He cited the example of a pilot project being executed at Latoo village in Kargil where through solar power water is being lifted about 200 meters into a reservoir of 1 lakh liters capacity. He also emphasized on the need to correlate water problems and women work. We need to make them free to contribute to the economic growth of the family and the region.
Making a mention of Jal Jeevan Abhiyan, the LG said that under this scheme UT Administration is making all efforts to provide specified quantity of drinking water to every household in Ladakh by 2022. He said that it’s a challenging project given the climatic and geographic features of the region. However, he added that Ladakh has always accepted challenges and this target too will be achieved. He said that the water needs of around 3 lakh population of Ladakh, tourists and a sizeable portion of the Armed Forces need be met. He exhorted on the need to frame policies considering these three target groups.
Speaking on the occasion CEC, LAHDC, Kargil Feroz Ahmad Khan highlighted the challenges faced due to extreme cold weather, climate change and water shortage problems. He said that this conference will prove to be a good opportunity to discuss and deliberate on ways to improve water supply and sanitation service delivery in the cold arid region of Ladakh. He added that ideas would also emerge to address the challenges in ensuring an all-weather affordable water supply and sanitation service system.