Experts in the field of water conservancy, industrialists and scientists have stressed on the need to bring about integrated sustainable solutions to solve water crises besides creating awareness among people about holistic solution to greener environment.
Speakers at a one-day conference, organised by Govardhan Eco Village of ISKCON and Artha Forum here on Saturday, also focused on building up community initiatives to conserve water bodies.
Addressing the gathering, Madhur Bajaj, vice chairman, Bajaj Auto Ltd, said his group NGO Jankidevi Bajaj Gram Vikas Sansthan has decided to support Maharashtra government’s initiative to make the state ‘tanker-free’ in next five years.
Bajaj said water conservancy was the most neglected subject in India and added that 80 per cent of the diseases in rural areas were water-bound.
The entrepreneur suggested interlinking rivers in the country so that a situation does not arise where there is drought in one region and flood in the other.
He apprised that the Bajaj group NGO has covered many villages and households to provide water besides constructing nullahs and drains to store water for future use in rural parts of the state. It has also supported actor Aamir Khan’s ‘Paani Foundation’.
Water conservationist Rajendra Singh, popularly known as the ‘Waterman of India’, said 40 per cent of the dams in Maharashtra are quite large and huge amount of money was spent on improving and strengthening water works, yet, there were some areas where suicide cases are reported mainly due to water shortage.
Singh said most of the dams in the state were built during 1960s and these should be de-silted and recharged because a lot of water loss occurs due to evaporation.
“We have to befriend nature and then find a solution.If Maharashtra should be water sufficient then the people have to understand the nature of the soil. If one has to grow sugarcane, then you have to chose the soil which can hold sufficient water,” the Ramon Magsaysay award winner explained.
ISKCON spiritual leader and founder of Govardhan Eco Village, Maharaj Radhanath Swami advocated holistic use of water for human survival, saying every drop of water is precious and should not be wasted.
Water, he said, was one of the basic necessities of life and the people are dependent on it spiritually, emotionally and physically.
“We must use water with respect, gratitude and compassion as it was a God’s gift to the people,” he said.
ISKCON’s Govardhan Eco-village at Wada near Mumbai, has undertaken a water resources programme which focusses on planning, developing, distributing and managing the optimum use of water resources, Swami added.
Director of Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) Dr Rakesh Kumar said water in the soil nourishes crops so even a small patch of grass holds moisture and equally important for the people would be to conserve invisible water in the air.