Eminent agriculture scientist Prof. M.S. Swaminathan has urged the government authorities and civic society to evolve a strategy to harvest rainwater and prevent flooding rather than indulge in a ‘blame game’ over the recent heavy rains.
His view assumes significance with the opposition parties criticising Tamil Nadu government for its “ineffective” preparation to tackle rains and relief work, and the State asserting that it took effective and necessary steps.
“Instead of resorting to blame game, it is important for citizens and officers to develop a strategy for ensuring that the excess of monsoon rains is conserved,” he said.
In a statement, he said the situation should be managed “in a manner that hardship to human beings and disruption of normal life is avoided.”
Prof. Swaminathan emphasised that surplus water should be saved in aquifers, wells, ponds, reservoirs and “other storage structure [rain water harvesting structures]” to overcome water scarcity later, making the rains a blessing, rather than a curse.
“Naturally occurring drains have become clogged and there is no way for water to recede,” he said, adding “infiltration of water into soil was also poor due to reasons, including the hardening of the top soil.”
The heavy rains in coastal Tamil Nadu have highlighted the need for “an urgent mapping of hotspots” in terms of human suffering, he said.