Efficient water management is the need of the hour since the water resources are being depleted rapidly, according to M. Sampath Kumar, Chief Engineer of Water Resources Organisation.

Addressing a conference organised under the Tamil Nadu Irrigated Agriculture Modernisation and Water Bodies Restoration and Management (TN-IAMWARM) project here on Thursday, he said that the demand for water in the industrial sectors and agricultural sectors, on the other hand, had increased manifold.

The conference attended by students and agriculturalists saw experts and water resources organisations insisting on revival and conservation of the Kiruthumal river, which is apparently as old as the Vaigai.

Speaking on the pitiable condition of the river, Mr. Sampath Kumar blamed individuals, the society and industries for the demise of the river. Sewage flow into the river should be prevented and encroachments on the river’s course cleared, he said.

K. Manuraj, Superintending Engineer of water resources organisation, said, “Political willingness and awareness among the public are necessary to conserve water.”

S. Nammalvar, a promoter of natural farming, urged agriculturalists to adapt to organic farming citing several incidents such as Kasargod in Kerala where the use of pesticides on agricultural products had an adverse effect on the health of consumers such as slow death and cancer.

“The number of people with cancer is accelerating in Tamil Nadu. Use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides in agriculture are equivalent to slow poisoning,” he said.

Mr. Nammalvar said that pollution of water bodies and all other forms of pollution should be averted.

S. Ayub Khan, Executive Engineer of water resources organisation, spoke.

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