Kerala

A campaign to watch out for the ‘water mafia’

The ‘Floating Conference’ on the Chaliyar river at Mavoor on Saturday.  

‘Water mafia’, the term was coined by senior scientist of the Centre for Water Resources Development and Management (CWRDM) Madhavan Komath to refer to those who smuggled water drawn from rivers and village wells and sold it to high-rises in cities and towns.

“We do not value water as we get it free of cost. The water mafia is spreading its net and we will soon have to pay for the water in our own well,” Mr. Komath said at a ‘Floating Conference’ on the Chaliyar river at Mavoor here on Saturday. Mr. Komath also pointed to the fraud in the water purifier market.

The Floating Conference on a boat, organised by the Green Care Mission as part of its week-long water literacy programme in connection with World Water Day, was notable for its stress on the need for water literacy to maintain the quantity and quality of water we use in our daily lives.

Burning of forests

The conference was opened by Anitha A.B., executive director of the CWRDM, on the Green Carpet (an eco-friendly lifestyle park) campus at Koolimadu, Mavoor. Environmentalist Hamidali Vazhakkad, in his address, linked the water scarcity to burning of forests.

He said the Chaliyar was relatively rich in water because the forests along the river were still intact. “For humanity’s sake, do not burn the forests,” he said.Mr. Vazhakkad also criticised the social forestry initiatives. “A forest cannot be formed in a decade or two. It is an ecosystem that is evolved over thousands of years. Planting some trees in place of the ones cut down does not bring the forest back,” he said. He said water was life and that rivers were lifelines that had to be protected.

Calicut Chamber of Commerce president Subair Kolakkadan suggested an elevated Nilambur-Nanjangode railway line through the forest while Mr. Vazhakkad supported the idea.

“The forest is not disturbed in this case. Yes, it is expensive. But it is nothing compared to the value of the forest,” he said. District coordinator of Harithakeralam Mission P. Prakash also spoke.

The floating conference took off from the Green Carpet campus through the Iruvazhinji river that later joins the Chaliyar. Around 50 people from different walks of life, from the length and breadth of the State, came together at the conference and spoke about how they had been doing their bit for the environment. Actor Banna Chennamangallur was the moderator.


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Printable version | Sep 16, 2021 5:26:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/a-campaign-to-watch-out-for-the-water-mafia/article26690075.ece

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