Madurai

Water must be priced right to prevent misuse: official

Will not last forever: Corporation Commissioner Aneesh Sekhar speaking at Tamil Nadu Water Conclave 2018 in Madurai on Thursday.

Will not last forever: Corporation Commissioner Aneesh Sekhar speaking at Tamil Nadu Water Conclave 2018 in Madurai on Thursday.   | Photo Credit: S_James

‘Industries must make use of treated water, as done in Singapore and Israel’

Proper pricing of potable water was necessary to prevent people from wasting it, said Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar here on Thursday.

Speaking at the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Tamil Nadu Water Conclave 2018 here on Thursday, he said though water was a basic amenity recognised as a human right by institutions like the Supreme Court, people would face a major water crisis if they did not use it with mindfulness and caution. The best way to ensure judicious use of water was to fix a price for it, on the lines of a globally recognised practice. “I am sure people will be ready to pay for water if quality and timely supply are ensured,” he said.

Pointing that the often heard complaint was irregular supply and contamination, he said urban local bodies such as Madurai Corporation needed investment on augmentation of sources and improving the supply network. “This is where public-private partnership helps, as is being tried in Tirupur and Coimbatore,” he said.

Industries must make use of treated water, as done in Singapore and Israel, instead of being dependent on borewells and other sources. “Madurai Corporation is treating around 25 to 30 million litres a day, which is roughly the requirement of industries in Madurai. This means the entire demand can be met with treated water. However, we need investments on this as well,” he said.

Mridula Ramesh, Executive Director, Sundaram Textiles, said the shift from community management to centralised water management, introduced by the British Raj through agencies such as Public Works brought in a mental shift among the public that water management was no more their responsibility.

Stating that this, in turn, adversely impacted water resources, particularly the tank systems, she said that another mental shift towards public responsibility in water management and the realisation that water could not be availed free of cost were necessary to tackle impending water crisis.

I. Sajid Hussain, Chief Operating Officer, Tamil Nadu Water Investment Company, spoke on how Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) systems implemented in industrial clusters such as dyeing units in Tirupur helped in saving water, cost, and consequently increasing productivity and exports.

Citing NITI Aayog reports that predicted water scarcity in Tamil Nady by 2020, S. Varadarajan, co-convenor, CII Tamil Nadu Water Taskforce and Director and Chief Growth Officer of VA Tech Wabag, said it was high time action was taken to ensure water security.

S Rajamohan, Chairman, CII Madurai Zone and Founder and Managing Director of Envirocare India, and Nagaraj Krishnan, Vice-Chairman, and Managing Director, Aparajitha Corporate Services, spoke.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 3:31:19 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/water-must-be-priced-right-to-prevent-misuse-official/article25740054.ece

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