A two-day conference on 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat' with a focus on water conservation and disaster management commenced here on Saturday, with Union Minister Jitendra Singh asserting that the flagship initiatives would bring good outcomes for both Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
About 350 delegates are taking part in the conference which is being organised by the Department of Administrative Reforms and Public Grievances (DARPG) in collaboration with governments of Tamil Nadu and the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
Singh, who inaugurated the conference, said this is the second big conference being organised by the DARPG in a short span of time, the first being organised on November 15 and 16, on the replication of good governance practices.
He expressed happiness that the first conference had participation of about 450 delegates from 19 states and four UTs and in the second conference, about 350 delegates participated.
Speaking about the theme of the conference 'Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat', the minister said this is one of the flagship initiatives at the behest of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and is going to have a good outcome for both the UTs.
"This conference will provide an occasion to replicate and learn from good initiatives of Tamil Nadu in these UTs, especially the river management," he said, adding "This unique bonding of Northern-most UTs and Southern-most state will carry a message of good governance from Kashmir to Kanyakumari".
Speaking about the disaster management, the minister said earlier the response to disasters used to be reactive, but under the leadership of Modi, it has now become proactive.
"The focus is now on preventive measures and minimizing the damage. Now, we have a foolproof technology available in India to mitigate the crisis and we can now forecast disasters very early and inform the administration in real time," he said.
He said the prime minister's focus has been on maximum use of technology and real time monitoring.
Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management in Tamil Nadu R B Udhayakumar expressed his happiness to participate in the regional conference and said the collaboration would promote the exchange of technical expertise and best practices in the areas of optimal use of water resources in domestic consumption, agriculture and other usages.
Sharing the advances and experiences on disaster management would help in minimizing the magnitude of its adverse impacts by our meticulous preparedness, swift response, quick rehabilitation and recovery, he added.
Lt Governor of Jammu and Kashmir G C Murmu said it is a privilege and great opportunity to share the best practices of different states.
He emphasised upon the importance of water conservation and the sustainability of natural resources.
"The agricultural scientists should study the cropping pattern to suit the monsoon and other climatic conditions. There are certain structural things to be done to save water and mitigate the crisis of water shortage," he added.
Elaborating on the role of citizens during natural and manmade disasters, he said the first respondents to any disaster are citizens and their empowerment is an absolute requirement.
He emphasised upon the awareness among citizens through early warning and SMS service, among others.