River health is human health and if water gets polluted human life would be affected. Overdrawing of river water could lead to a disastrous situation and ecological imbalance, observed Magsaysay award winner Rajendra Singh.

Natural water resources should be distributed among all sectors and masses judiciously else there would be catastrophe as the ground water is fast depleting.

He said about one per cent of industrial sector is drawing a major portion of water for industries the other about 4 per cent people support it while the rest 95 percent continue to suffer.

The precious river water should be properly identified, demarcated and notified for best utilisation. Else the crisis would aggravate.

The state government should come out with a water policy, he opined.

Singh was addressing a meeting organised by the civil society of Balasore which has been opposite a project sanctioned by IDCO for drawing river water for industries here. The civil society body has been opposing the project stating that massive drawing of water from Budhabalanga and Sono river could lead to water scarcity for human and agricultural use. They had expressed fear that it could lead to ecological disturbances. In the meeting several other speakers, including environmentalist Prafulla Samantra, Arun Jena, Sudashan Das, Manoj Nayak, the president Bar association, Laxmidhar Behera, Sambhu Mohanty, Sisir Behera, Sambhunath Mohanty and Kishor Das and others.

The water intake well for industries will spell doom for the people of the district, they said while denouncing the North Odisha Chamber of Commerce and Industries statement in favor of the project. The NOCCI statement is based on incorrect facts as far as water availability and requirement is concerned, they charged.

NOCCI had said the apprehensions expressed by the civil society were unfounded as the project was conceived after a proper survey and study.