Friday, February 09, 2007

the statement of tamilnadu agriculture minister in the assembly yesterday told a sorry story. from his words,
Out of 39,200 irrigation tanks in Tamil Nadu, about 1,000 tanks have become totally defunct, resulting in the loss of about 50,000 hectares of tank-irrigated area, the Tamil Nadu Agriculture said.

not only tanks, but on the whole the entire ecosystem on which depend rural drinking water and agriculture water is in very bad shape. many crucial waterbodies like wetlands are being abused by sewage and industrial pollution, paddy fields are being indiscriminately reclaimed for construction, massive illegal sand mining is raping the rivers, encroachments into tanks and tank beds kill off the tanks in turn cutting out ground water charging...the list is endless.

as tamilnadu chases water from neighbouring states it has done a 200% poor job in taking care of its own water sources. not only that even the rivers (noyyal, bhavani, cauvery, many small rivers, urban rivers like adayar river, etc) that are in tamilnadu are in very bad polluted state.

as politicians jump on the gdp bandwagon in a blind manner, the end result is abuse of ecosystems in name of development. when most of village tanks, irrigation canals, anicuts, etc can be well maintained by govt closely working with panchayats, self help groups, local genuine ngo's, the government takes an opposite view bringing in contractors to do the job wherein the 'cut' goes to pocket books of well heeled people rather than benefiting the local ecosystem.

below you can see images of surodi watershed in maharastra which was handled by local villagers along with support from the local village level offices. watersheds like these can be a boom to rural india in terms of securing water security.

like sunita naraian said "Water will define if we remain poor or become rich" - 'rich' - that is genuinely rich for vast sections of society and not only for the gdp oriented sections of society.

(surodi watershed in maharastra - a vital source for several thousands local rural villagers)
(local people working to cleanup/spruce/stabilise/bund the surodi watershed in maharastra)
(another view of surodi watershed in maharastra)


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home