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ITC Ltd conferred first prize in 'Best Industry for CSR Activities'

New Delhi, Jan 8 (IANS) The Union Minister of Jal Shakti has awarded ITC Ltd for their work and efforts towards water conservation in the 'Best Industry for CSR activities' category of the 3rd National Water Awards.

Adani Foundation grabbed the second position followed by HAL and Dharampal Satyapal Ltd, jointly bagging the third position.

These awards show the prominent role of large Indian corporations playing to alleviate the water crisis to address their own risk as well as the risk of all partners.

Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of Jal Shakti Gajendra Singh Shekhawat stated that water is fundamental to life. India's current water requirement is estimated to be around 1,100 billion cubic meters per year, projected to go up to 1,447 billion cubic meters by 2050. Water as a resource is crucial to India, which is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. While India has more than 18 per cent of the world's population, it has only 4 per cent of world's renewable water resources.

It is in this backdrop that the National Water Awards (NWA) were instituted to recognize and encourage exemplary work and efforts made by States, Districts, individuals, organizations, etc across the country in attaining the government's vision of a 'Jal Samridh Bharat', stated the minister.

Multi-business conglomerates like ITC Limited have been pursuing a mission for environmental stewardship through a wide spectrum of endeavours. As per the company's latest annual report, ITC has spearheaded an extensive watershed development program bringing soil and moisture conservation to over 1.2 million acres in 14 states. It has built nearly 22,000 water harvesting structures with a net water storage potential of 41.95 million CuM. These initiatives have benefited 3,60,000 people and support 7.3 million person-days of livelihood. Its demand-side management interventions cover 300,000 acres in 6 states.

The National Water Award was instituted to encourage the stakeholders to adopt a holistic approach towards water resources management in the country. Through this award, the government strives to create awareness among the people about the importance of water and attempts to motivate them to adopt best water usage practices, added the minister.

The first National Water Award was launched by the Jal Shakti Ministry in 2018. National Water Awards have provided a good opportunity to startups as well as leading organizations to engage and deliberate with senior policymakers on how to adopt the best water resources management practices in India.

To encourage and recognize individuals and organizations doing exemplary work in the field of water resources management, the Department of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Ministry of Jal Shakti is giving 57 awards to States, Organizations, Individuals etc in 11 different categories - Best State, Best District, Best Village Panchayat, Best Urban Local Body, Best Media (Print Electronic), Best School, Best Institution/RWA/Religious organization for Campus
usage, Best Industry, Best NGO, Best Water User Association, and Best Industry for CSR Activity.

Some of these categories have sub- categories for different zones of the country. The award winners in different categories will be given a citation, trophy and cash prize.