‘Proper mechanism needed to deal with water crisis’

Vice-Chancellor Gurmeet Singh addressing the seminar at Pondicherry University.

Vice-Chancellor Gurmeet Singh addressing the seminar at Pondicherry University.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Experts speak on Issues Relating to Trans-boundary River Water Sharing in South Asia at Pondicherry University.

South Asia experts, including diplomats and academics, participating in a seminar have called for instituting a mechanism for conflict-free water sharing in the region.

The two-day seminar on “Issues Relating to Trans-boundary River Water Sharing in South Asia” was hosted by UNESCO Madanjeet Institute of South Asian Regional Cooperation (UMISARC)-Centre for South Asian Studies of Pondicherry University.

Mahendra P. Lama, founder Vice-Chancellor of Sikkim Central University and an expert on South Asia, in his inaugural address, dwelt on the role of the United Nations in resolving water security efforts. The challenges with regard to water sharing manifested at three layers- local, national and international, he pointed out.

Prof. Lama also spoke about the various assessment indicators including the water management index to analyse these challenges and accordingly develop a proper mechanism to deal with the issue of the water crisis. He argued that the food security of India is going to be a very critical issue in the country due to shortage of water.

He highlighted how China’s efforts to build more dams on the bank of the Brahmaputra and its efforts to reverse the course of rivers from downwards to upwards can have a serious effect on India, Bangladesh and Bhutan, as they are lower riparian.

Ashok Sajjanhar, former diplomat, emphasised that water was not just for economic growth but for the welfare of the people. He threw light on how despite the water issue having emerged as a global problem, there was still no international binding law in this regard. He also underscored India’s high credentials in resolving water and all other issues with its South Asian neighbours.

Symbol of coexistence

Gurmeet Singh, the Vice-Chancellor of Pondicherry University, said the South Asian region should become a global symbol of peaceful coexistence, resolving all regional and global issues including trans-boundary river water issues.

Air Mashal R.C. Bajpai, D. Purushothaman, the Director of the Conference and Centre Head, UMISARC, P. Moorthy, dean of School of Social Sciences, Pondicherry University and Santhosh Mathew, faculty of South Asian Studies spoke. The delegates at the seminar included diplomats, academicians, international experts and scholars from different parts of South Asia including Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Afghanistan.

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 9:06:47 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/experts-speak-on-issues-relating-to-trans-boundary-river-water-sharing-in-south-asia-at-pondicherry-university/article30898039.ece

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