On Tuesday, Governor Acharya Devvrat inaugurated a Seminar on Water Conservation and Management at Rajbhawan. The seminar was attended by activists and experts working on water issues including Magsaysay award recipient Dr. Rajendra Singh.
Dr. Rajendra Singh is a winner of 2001 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Community leadership. He leads an organization, Tarun Bhagat Sangh, which is supported by the United Nations, USIAD, and the World bank. He was highly appreciated and recognized for the efforts he made for harvesting rain water water by building check dams in Rajasthan. It is because of this he is popularly known as the ‘Jal Pusush’ or the ‘Water man of Rajasthan’.
Dr. Rajendra Singh, in his keynote, stressed that we should connect the society with the rivers and through package of practice we should work in co-ordination. He also stressed on decision making process, balance between micro and macro process, and traditional wisdom of water conservation and new techniques of water use. He explained changes in cropping patterns linked with rainfall patterns and rain water harvesting structures with community participation for rejuvenation of rivers
He said experiences reveal that promotion of water harvesting structures through appropriate institutional mechanisms and financial arrangements would be the best intervention or adaptive mechanism to reduce the adverse impact of climate change on groundwater resources as well as farm economy based livelihood.
Dr. Rajinder Singh said that it was a matter of concern that water level in the State was also going down and drought or flood like situations prevailed in the State. It was high time to slow down the pace of water flow and conserve it for recharging the water bodies.
The Governor also expressed concern that both farmers and people residing in towns were facing the problem of water scarcity. Himachal Pradesh was providing water to neighboring states but now it was facing the same problem, he added. He said that the State would take the benefit of Dr. Rajender Singh who rejuvenated the water sources in Rajasthan and other States.
Governor said that rapid growth in population, rising demand for food and cash crops, urbanization and rising standard of living had resulted in the problem of water scarcity. For efficient water conservation and management, people should be made aware about the necessity of water, its conservation and they should be involved in the activities of water management, he added.
The Governor said that he had launched Himachal Pradesh Water Conservation Literacy Special Campaign in the State and to give it a practical shape, take different measures for specific area for efficient water management, and active cooperation of the local people should also be sought.
During the seminar, Principal Secretary, Horticulture J.C. Sharma, informed that more than Rs. 300 crore would be spent for water conservation activities under World Bank aided horticulture project.