In an interview with The Third Pole, Shashi Shekhar, secretary in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation discussed the problems and prospects of India’s water sector. A number of issues which SANDRP and several other water experts and environmentalists have been calling attention to for decades were affirmed by the ‘man behind the scene’.
Perhaps most importantly he reiterated what he admitted at India Rivers Week held in Delhi in Last week of November that the ‘politician-bureaucrat-contractor nexus’ was the “biggest bane of India’s water sector”.
Pinpointing to the average gap of about 45% between irrigation potential and actual irrigation he said- “The interest is not in irrigation but in constructing assets because that is where the money is. All the states have sizeable budgets for this. After all that, the total (canal) irrigated area in the country is 10-15%. So why should it get such vast resources? It does so because the contractor is interested, and there are below the table payments. This is the problem.” Continue reading “DRP News Bulletin 12 Dec 2016 (The interest is not in irrigation but in constructing assets- says Water Secretary)”