Staff Reporter

Form groups to find viable solutions: Collector

TIRUNELVELI: Colleges and institutions of higher education should form small groups on their premises comprising students and faculty members to discuss and find viable solutions for environment-related issues and the challenges being posed to the ecosystem of their locality, the District Collector, G. Prakash, said.

The Collector was inaugurating a three-day seminar at St. John's College Palayamkottai on `River, Riverside Ecology and Economy,' organised by the postgraduate departments of Zoology and Economics on Thursday.

Mr. Prakash said that riverbanks, which once were considered to be the `cradle of civilizations,' had become drainage channels where effluents of all sorts were being thrown in as a result of `development activities.' On the other hand, natural resources were being looted unmindfully in the guise of development and even the Almighty could not replenish the greedily exhausted natural resources.

"People who plunder natural resources cannot be resisted by the public. If public participation is not forthcoming, the environment conservation schemes being announced and executed by the Central and StateGovernments on the outlay of several thousands of crores will be of no use," he said.Students and faculty members should form small groups to discuss problems related to environment, especially serious threats being posed to Tamirabarani, the lifeline of Tirunelveli, Tuticorin and Virudhunagardistricts, quenching the thirst of a few millions through 570 filtration wells sunk on the watercourse.

"It's our duty to conserve Tamirabarani for the generations to come," Mr. Prakash appealed.The principal of St. John's College, R.K. Jacob, said that the country, having 16 per cent of the world's total population and only 4 per cent of the water resources available across the globe, would be facing acutewater scarcity in future if the `white gold' was not conserved carefully through sustainable development activities.

Pat for marathon

He also lauded the efforts taken to organise `Madurai Marathon' to create awareness among the public on conservation of water.Secretary of the college, A.D.J.C. Thinahar, also spoke. Faculty members and students from various colleges in the State are participating inthe three-day event and present research papers.