Governor Acharya Devvrat has underlined the need for active participation of common people in tackling the water crisis in an effective manner as the government schemes alone were not sufficient.He was speaking after inaugurating a Seminar on Water Conservation and Management at Rajbhawan, today which was attended by activists and experts working on water issues including Magsaysay award recipient Dr. Rajendra Singh.He expressed concern that both farmers and people residing in towns were facing the problem of water scarcity. Himachal Pradesh was providing water to neighboring states but now it was facing the same problem, he added. He said that the State would take the benefit of Dr. Rajender Singh who rejuvenated the water sources in Rajasthan and other States. Acharya Devvrat said that rapid growth in population, rising demand for food and cash crops, urbanization and rising standard of living had resulted in the problem of water scarcity.
He said that for efficient water conservation and management, people should be made aware about the necessity of water, its conservation and they should be involved in the activities of water management.The Governor said that he had launched Himachal Pradesh Water Conservation Literacy Special Campaign in the State and to give it a practical shape different measures for specific area should be adopted for efficient water management, and active cooperation of the local people should also be sought. He said that campaigns like drug de-addiction, cleanliness, Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao and Zero Budget Natural Farming & Cow Rearing had been started for social cause and people of every sphere had supported the issues.In his key note address, Dr. Rajinder Singh stressed that we should connect the society with the rivers and through package of practice we should work in co-ordination. He also stressed on decision making process, balance between micro and macro process, and traditional wisdom of water conservation and new techniques of water use. He explained changes in cropping patterns linked with rainfall patterns and rain water harvesting structures with community participation for rejuvenation of rivers.He said experiences reveal that promotion of water harvesting structures through appropriate institutional mechanisms and financial arrangements would be the best intervention or adaptive mechanism to reduce the adverse impact of climate change on groundwater resources as well as farm economy based livelihood.
Dr. Rajinder Singh said that it was a matter of concern that water level in the State was also going down and drought or flood like situations prevailed in the State. It was high time to slow down the pace of water flow and conserve it for recharging the water bodies. He thanked the Governor for starting this important campaign.Dr. Rajendra Singh, is winner of 2001 Ramon Magsaysay Award For Community leadership. He leads an organization, Tarun Bhagat Sangh, which is supported by the United Nations, USIAD, and the World bank. He was highly appreciated and recognized for the efforts he made for harvesting rain water water by building check dams in Rajasthan. It is because of this he is popularly known as the 'Jal Pusush' or the 'Water man of Rajasthan'.Earlier, Principal Secretary, Horticulture Shri J.C. Sharma, briefed out the activities and programmes being undertaken by the department for water conservation. He said that more than Rs. 300 crore would be spent for water conservation activities under World Bank aided horticulture project.Shri Pushpendera Rajput, Secretary to the Governor proposed vote of thanks.Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Shri Arvind Mehta, Vice-Chancellor, HP University Shimla Prof. A.D.N Bajpai, Vice-Chancellor, Horticultural University, Nauni, Solan Dr. H.C. Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, Agriculture University, Palampur Dr. Ashok Saryal, Vice Chairman, HPMC Shri Prakash Thakur, officers of the Horticulture, Irrigation & Public Health, Agriculture and Forest departments, representatives of Non-Governmental organizations and other prominent people were also present on the occasion.