Chennai

Chief Minister underlines need for water conservation

MSSRF celebrates 30 years of its existence in the city

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami on Wednesday underlined the need for rainwater harvesting and water conservation. Speaking at the 30th anniversary celebrations of the M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) in Taramani, he said waterbodies were being desilted through Kudimaramathu scheme.

The State, through various farming practices and water conservation techniques, had produced over 100 lakh tonnes of foodgrains in the last four years, Mr. Palaniswami said.

Appreciating the work of the MSSRF and its founder and renowned agricultural scientist M.S. Swaminathan among lakhs of farmers, fishermen and women in rural areas, the Chief Minister said his government would ensure that the lease of the land on which the foundation is housed was extended.

Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said the State government had been promoting micro-irrigation among farmers, and in 2018-19, a total of 1.5 lakh hectares of land had been irrigated through the system. In 2019-2020, over 2 lakh hectares were to be covered, he added. Mr. Panneerselvam commended the foundation for its contribution in ensuring food and nutrition security to the people of the State and the country.

Timely support

Chairman of The Hindu Publishing Group N. Ram, who requested the State government to extend the lease of the land by 30 years, or if possible, by another 99 years, recalled the support offered in a timely manner by the then Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi and later, by former Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to the foundation. It was Jayalalithaa who inaugurated the foundation’s building, he said.

Professor Swaminathan, in his presidential remarks, thanked the government for having invited the foundation to establish the institute in Chennai. “The reason why we wanted to come here was because we wanted to work in coastal areas. The first thing we did was our work on the mangroves in Pitchavaram. Two people played very important roles in establishing the institute — one was M.V. Arunachalam of the Murugappa Group and the other was N. Ram,” he recalled.

Mr. Palaniswami released the foundation’s annual report and Deputy CM O. Panneerselvam the 30-Years’ MSSRF Innovation and Impact Report. The inauguration was followed by the International Conference on Achieving Sustainable Development Goals and Strengthening Science for Climate Resilience. The chairperson of MSSRF, Madhura Swaminathan; its executive director N. Anil Kumar; and Deputy Director General and Chief Scientist UN-WHO Soumya Swaminathan spoke.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 12:33:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/chief-minister-underlines-need-for-water-conservation/article28873768.ece

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