Capt seeks Israel’s help for sewer water recycling
Chandigarh, October 24
Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh on Wednesday sought Israel’s cooperation in enabling recycling of sewer water in five major cities of the state, with the aim to check pollution and generating water for irrigation purposes.
The Chief Minister held extensive talks in Jerusalem with Israel’s Minister of Energy and Water Resources Dr Yuval Steinitz on the issue of water management to boost water conservation in Punjab. The Chief Minister was impressed with the fact that 95 per cent of sewer water was being recycled for agriculture in Israel and said Punjab would like to do the same in urban areas.
Capt Amarinder apprised the Israeli minister of the problems being faced by Punjab on the water front as a result of its depleting water table caused by melting glaciers.
“While Punjab is power surplus, water resources remain a challenge for the state, which is trying to get out of the paddy-wheat cycle to save this precious resource,” he said.
Dr Steinitz said Israel would be happy to extend all possible support in this regard, keeping in view the close historical, cultural and business ties it had with India. The minister underlined the need for proper water management through assessment of the total requirement and availability.
He pointed out that Israel was having its fifth year of drought, but was managing its water needs through various measures, such as double desalination, to meet 80 per cent of its domestic water need.
Regulating water distribution was the crux of water management, said the minister, stressing the need for educating people in this regard.
The Chief Minister invited the minister to visit Punjab to further strengthen the cooperation between the two sides. Capt Amarinder later visited various sites in the Old City of Jerusalem, including the Indian Hospice – an over 800-year-old memorial that is revered by Indian Muslims as a shrine in the memory of Hazrat Farid-ud-Din Ganj Shakar.
Earlier, as part of his efforts to woo Israeli investment and business, the Chief Minister on Tuesday evening extended his government’s full support to Israeli companies ready to invest in the state across sectors. He addressed a seminar on “Investment opportunities in Punjab” organised in Tel Aviv by the Embassy of India in collaboration with the Israel-Asia Chamber of Commerce.