Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs M. Vijayakumar said here on Friday that large parts of Kerala were turning into water-stressed areas owing to lack of proper resource planning.

Delivering the inaugural address at a function organised by the Department of Planning and Economic Affairs and the Kerala State Remote Sensing and Environment Centre (KSREC) to launch a State-wide awareness campaign for rainwater harvesting, he said there was no reason why the government could not take up rainwater harvesting projects on the premises of public buildings such as the Secretariat and the Assembly complex. He said he would take up the issue with the Chief Minister and the Speaker.

Proper planning

“It is a matter of shame that Kerala is suffering from water shortage despite abundant rain and water resources. The State gets copious rains every year but most of the water is let to drain off into the sea.” The Minister stressed the need for awareness and planning.

He said every family and citizen had a responsibility to conserve water resources. “With proper planning, each of the 65 lakh families in the State can be a unit of water storage.

Government institutions, schools and colleges and NGOs can play a crucial role in conserving water.”

Mr. Vijayakumar called for coordinating water conservation efforts by different agencies such as Jalanidhi and CAPART.

V. Sivankutty, MLA, who presided over the function, stressed the need to involve local bodies, residents’ associations and educational institutions in rainwater harvesting projects. Criticising the lack of follow-up in project management, he said a target-oriented approach was necessary to ensure meaningful implementation of schemes.

Director, KSREC, Jose Isaac; Investigator (RWH) B. Rameshkumar; and retired scientist, Centre for Earth Science Studies, P.K. Thampi; were present. Deputy Mayor V. Jayaprakash released the logo of the campaign.