New Delhi: Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday slammed a ruling BJP member from Karnataka a discussion on the state’s long-standing dispute with Tamil Nadu over Cauvery water issue arose. “Fight there, not here,” said the Speaker and the members broke into a peal of laughter.

During the Question Hour, Karnataka MP Shobha Karandlaje spoke about the scarcity of drinking water in different parts of the state. The BJP MP also mentioned about Karnataka’s disputes with Tamil Nadu over Cauvery water, pointing towards members from her neighbouring state sitting in opposition benches, and with Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Most of the river water disputes among the states were either settled in courts or in tribunals. Thus, seeking cooperation from states to resolve such issues, Union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat said that a total of 1,592 blocks have been selected in 256 ground water-stressed districts under the Jal Shakti Abhiyan scheme.

“Out of 1,592 blocks, 312 are critical blocks, 1,186 are over-exploited blocks and 94 blocks are with low groundwater availability. It is a time-bound, mission-mode water conservation campaign,” he added.

Shekhawat said, “As reported by states on Integrated Management Information System (IMIS), out of total 17.87 crore rural households in the country, about 3.27 crore (about 18.33 per cent) rural households are getting drinking water from tap connection. “

As announced in the Union Budget Speech 2019-20, it has been envisaged to ensure piped water supply to all rural households by 2024 under the Jal Jeevan Mission,” he said.

The Jal Shakti Abhiyan, a water conservation campaign, is a collaborative effort of various ministries, departments of the government of India and state governments, being coordinated by the Department of Drinking Water and Sanitation (DDWS), ministry of Jal Shakti.

(With inputs from PTI)