"Inter-linking of rivers would enhance irrigation facilities to 90 percent of farm lands in the country," she said while inaugurating the national conference on issues for optimal use of water resources titled 'Jal Manthan' here.

According to Agriculture ministry data, 40 percent of the agriculture land is irrigated and accounts for 55 percent of total production, while 60 percent is rain-fed and contribute 45 percent to total output.

Pointing out that there was no water crunch, Bharati stressed on the need for conservation of water through measures like rain water harvesting.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Rural Development Chaudhary Birender Singh said that 86 percent of drinking water supply schemes were based on ground water and proper attention should be paid for water security planning.

"In this regard, the Ministry has taken up 15 pilot blocks in 10 states, where comprehensive planning is undertaken to promote water security for all users with the active participation of the Panchayati Raj institutions," he said.

Singh also said that National Rural Drinking Programme was being implemented to provide safe drinking water in adequate quantity to all citizens of the country in a phased manner.

"Our goal is to achieve this through 90 percent piped water supply and 80 percent through household pipe connections by the 2022," the Minister added.

Ministers from various state governments also spoke on the occasion, elaborating on a range of issues connected with irrigation.

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