Water resource minister appeals public to abide forest laws
Pothashang News Service: Imphal, August 23, 2019: Water resources, and youth affairs and sports minister Letpao Haokip appealed to the public to abide government land acts and forest laws so that a proper environment can be build up.
Felling of trees is higher in hill areas as what concerns to the hill people is not water scarcity or environmental problems but to earn their daily ‘bread and butter’, Letpao said.
He also appealed to the people to pledge to plant at least 20 saplings every month without fail as a responsible citizen to combat change and to conserve water resources.
The minister was speaking at the launching of the Jal Shakti Abhiyaan at NIT Manipur, here on Friday.
Jal Shakti Abhiyan is a water conservation campaign under the initiative of Prime Minister, ministry of Jal Shakti, department of drinking water and sanitation. It is a time-bound campaign with a mission-mode approach intended to improve conditions in around 1500 blocks that are drought affected, water stressed or over-exploited falling in 254 districts with water conservation related central programmes. The Abhiyan is planned to be carried out in two phases. Phase I will be carried out between July 1 and September 15 for all states. Chandel district of Manipur has been included among these for the Phase I.
Held at the Seminar Hall of the NIT Campus, Langol, the programme was attended by NIT Manipur director Prof. (Dr) Goutam Sutradhar and chief engineer (water resources) Songput N Albert as the distinguished guest.
Letpao said incessant felling of trees in almost all the catchment areas of the state has resulted in rain water directly going to the rivers causing high siltation. Even though the state government has taken up steps to clear siltation of river beds since last year, the result is not all satisfactory, he added. He appealed the public especially the river-bank dwellers to be more responsible environment-wise and not to resort to felling of trees.
Goutam said India accounts for 17% of the world population, but when it comes to freshwater resources, the country accounts for only 4% of the world’s freshwater resources. He added that under this campaign, acivities will be targeted under five (5) areas viz. water conservation and rainwater harvesting; renovation of traditional water bodies; reuse, bore well recharge structures; watershed development; and intensive afforestation.
Albert appealed the public not to pass responsibilities but to start the initiative of water conservation and afforestation from oneself.