Tiruchirapalli

People’s panel to study sand mining in Cauvery

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Reason for drought is 60% man-made by way of mismanagement of water: Rajendra Singh

A group of farmers associations of Tamil Nadu in association with Rashtriya Jal Biradari (National Water Community) headed by renowned conservationist Rajendra Singh have planned to constitute a ‘people’s commission’ to study the ecological aspects and sand mining in the Cauvery river.

“We are planning to have a retired Supreme Court Judge, interested in the subject, to head the commission. Experts in the field will also form part of commission. The commission will sit as a public jury to inquire and hear the views of various stakeholders and submit a report to the Centre and State governments,” said Rajendra Singh, Chairman, National Water Community, speaking to media persons here on Tuesday.

Mr. Rajendra Singh, who was in the city to participate in a consultative meeting hosted by Tamil Nadu Rivers Retrieval Movement (TNRRM), inspected the Cauvery river near Lalapet in Karur district earlier in the day. He was accompanied by Mahadhanapuram V. Rajaram, Working president, Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, and other farmers’ leaders during the visit.

The commission would be formed under the auspices of the TNRRM and Cauvery Delta Farmers Welfare Association, said D. Gurusamy, Coordinator of TNRRM said.

Answering a query on the vexed Cauvery water sharing dispute, Mr. Singh said over the past forty years only the political dimension of the issue has been projected and hence it could not be resolved. The issue can be resolved only through an approach of humanism and social justice, he said.

Earlier, speaking at the consultative meeting, Mr. Singh, known as ‘Water Man of India’ for his conservation efforts in Rajasthan, said the current drought in the fertile areas of Tamil Nadu pained him much and observed that it was partially man-made. “I will say the reason for the drought is 60% man-made by way of mismanagement of water. This is not just a natural crisis, because the soil here is healthy and can sustain moisture,” he said.

However, he felt that the governments at the Centre, State and even local bodies were not bothered about this. They spend a lot of money on extracting water. This is not the solution. Farmers have a right to demand that the ecological flow of the river should not be disturbed, he said.

Arguing that there is a need for creating “water literacy,” among politicians and bureaucrats, Mr. Singh however felt that governments would not listen to farmers and people unless they mount pressure. “Farmers should unite to mount pressure on the problems faced by them,” he added.

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Printable version | Nov 21, 2019 10:42:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/peoples-panel-to-study-sand-mining-in-cauvery/article18643409.ece

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