Staff Correspondent

There may be conflicts over sharing of water: Prasad

Government urged to prevent encroachments upon water bodies

‘Life expectancy has come down by 20 per cent’

DAVANGERE: Sharada Prasad, an engineer working with a non-governmental organisation in Bangalore, has said that the country is likely to face a drinking water crisis in the next two decades if steps are not taken to conserve water.

Addressing presspersons here on Friday, Mr. Prasad said there may be conflicts between States over sharing of water in the future.

He appealed to the Government to take steps to prevent encroachments upon water bodies and conserve tanks and rivers.

Mr. Prasad, who undertook a three-month expedition across the country on a specially designed motorcycle along with Silje Harness some time ago, said that no State in the country was properly managing its water resources. In fact, the Delhi Development Authority was constructing a sports complex on the banks of the Yamuna without realising its consequences. In Bangalore, there were 350 lakes 30 years ago and their number had had come down to 70 now. Most of them had been breached and encroached upon and converted into residential layouts by land grabbers, he alleged.

Mr. Prasad, who had toured 29 States covering 18,950 km in 93 days, said that Chirapunji, which received highest rainfall in the country, would not be so in the next few years as mining had been going on there.

Water supply to the Bird Sanctuary at Bharathpur in Rajasthan had been stopped and diverted to residential areas. Because of this, many birds had stopped visiting the famous sanctuary.

He underlined the need for waste water management and treating waste water for reuse. Life expectancy had come down by 20 per cent in the country when compared to developed nations.

People of the country had been drinking polluted water for long.

River water was being polluted by domestic and industrial waste. Similarly, groundwater was also being polluted, he said.

He urged the people to have rainwater harvesting structures in their houses. Mr. Prasad said that he had plans to discuss with Arghyam, NGO, in Bangalore on launching a drive to educate children all the over State about rainwater harvesting and judicious use of water.