Rajasthan’s waterman Rajendra Singh on Tuesday called for ‘Water Literacy’ campaign in Himachal Pradesh to conserve the natural resource and said accountability of all is a must for curbing water crisis in the state.
“The mother nature has given Himachal all the resources including water in abundance. But the netizens are wasting the precious natural resource as more water is being discharged than making efforts to recharging the timeless sources as lakes, dams and rivers,” Rajendra Singh told The Statesman.
Singh was here to suggest ways for tackling the water shortage problem in Shimla to Municipal Corporation, Shimla and he visited Water Catchment area and Wildlife Sanctuary near Ashwini Khad.
Known as ‘Rainman’ or ‘Water Catcher’ in Alwar district of Rajasthan, Singh said a water literacy campaign is required in the state to aware people about its conservation and teach them as to how to use water judiciously.
However, the problem can’t be solved by the state government alone. The Central government and all agencies till the panchayat level should come together for water harvesting,” he said.
Singh said all these agencies should be made accountable for implementing the water harvesting techniques as indentifying catchment areas and watershed treatment in their respective areas.
“Himachal receives around 1,600 mm rain every year and it is a pity to learn that state is still facing water shortages,” he said.
Singh called for making rooftop water harvesting mandatory for all in the state and said this would help in rejuvenating water bodies and underground water resources.In addition, there was the need to slow the flow of water to revive water bodies, he said.
Commenting on water shortage in Shimla, he said the previous governments should have made efforts to management water bodies when the population had started increasing in the ‘Queen of Hills’.
‘South Africa publicised the water shortage problem in Cape Town around the globe so that they would be able to get funding and solutions for resolving the crisis.But we are hiding our problems instead of identifying them’, he said, adding identification, finding solutions and implementing them is the right approach in tackling the crisis and secure of future of coming generations.
“We think that only humans need water resources. But the fact is that even rivers and forests have equal right on the natural resource and we seem to have forgotten the fact,” he said.
Commenting on the water treatment facilities at Ashwini Khad, he called for constructing Reverse Osmosis (RO) system before the sewerage treatment plant to provide safe drinking water to Shimla residents.
It is worthwhile to mention here that Singh was conferred with Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2001 for his efforts on water management and he is also known as ‘Rainman’ or ‘Water Catcher’ in the arid regions surrounding Alwar district of Rajasthan.