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UP bags best state award in water conservation efforts

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh on Friday bagged the first prize for water conservation efforts, followed by Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu in the second and third place respectively at the National Awards 2020.

The awards were announced by Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

The awards were instituted to encourage and recognise individuals and organisations doing exemplary work in the field of water resources management.

"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," Shekhawat said.

"While India has more than 18 per cent of the world's population, it has only 4 per cent of the world's renewable water resources. It is in this backdrop that the National Water Awards (NWA) were instituted to recognise and encourage exemplary work and efforts made by states, districts, individuals, organisations across the country in attaining the government's vision of a 'Jal Samridh Bharat'," the minister said.

Secretary, DDWS, Vini Mahajan was also present on the occasion.

The award winners -- a total of 57 awardees in various categories -- would be given a citation, trophy and cash prize, a statement from the Ministry of Jal Shakti said.

Muzaffarnagar (Uttar Pradesh) and Shahid Bhagat Singh Nagar (Punjab) have been declared the winners for Best District in the north zone. Similarly for South Zone, the two districts are Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) and Kadapa (Andhra Pradesh); for East Zone, they are East Champaran (Bihar) and Godda (Jharkhand); for West Zone, Indore (Madhya Pradesh) was declared first winner while Vadodara (Gujarat) and Banswara (Rajasthan) were declared the joint winners for the second spot; and for the North-East zone, it was Goalpara (Assam) and Siang (Arunachal Pradesh).

Apart from the 'Best State' and 'Best District', awards were announced for organisations, individuals in nine other categories: 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.