The former Supreme Court Judge V.R. Krishna Iyer has urged the State government to formulate a water policy and a master plan for conserving water sources in the State.

Inaugurating a meeting of the Kochi-based Jalasamrakshana Samithi on Tuesday, the jurist said such a policy should be implemented with the full participation of the people. The right to life guaranteed under the Constitution encompasses the right to drinking water as well. In fact, one could not live without water.

He said the 44 rivers in the State were contaminated. It has become impossible to get drinking water now. Even rural areas experience drinking water scarcity. But the State government has not taken any steps to address the problem.

‘Conserve sources'

Mr. Krishna Iyer said efforts should be made to conserve water sources. Rainwater harvesting should be undertaken for replenishing groundwater. There is need to create awareness of preserving water sources.

Presiding over the meeting, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) State general secretary A.N. Radhakrishnan said there were around 350 ponds and wells in Ernakulam district. Most of them are contaminated. The district administration does not have the required resources to clean up these water bodies.

‘Clean temple ponds'

He said the Devaswom Department could take up works for cleaning up ponds on temple premises.

Local bodies also could chalk out plans to conserve and clean up contaminated water sources under their jurisdiction.

Environmental activist C.M. Joy, BJP Ernakulam district president P.J. Thomas, and B. Prakash Babu and C.K. Nazir of the samithi, spoke.

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