CM promises steps to fight drought

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TNN | Mar 22, 2013, 11.06 PM IST

THIRUVANTHPURAM: On the occasion of World Water day on Friday, chief minister OommenChandy promised to take up long-term measures to mitigate drought and water scarcity in the state.

"All efforts will be taken for river management, water harvesting, ensuring quality of water," he said. Global warming and climate change leads to a major dent on water resources, he said and assured to ensure drinking water to all while making all efforts to protect the water bodies.

The United Nations has declared 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation (IYWC) with an aim to direct international attention towards opportunities for water cooperation among communities and countries, to solve the challenges of water management, he said.

Deficient rain and depleting water bodies in the state are posing a serious challenge, Chandy said. Unscientific waste disposal has led to pollution of available water. Wells are drying up resulting in severe drinking water shortage and crisis in agriculture with crop loss and deficiency in hydro-electric power, he said.

To address these issues and to

implement IYWC programmes in the state the chief minister introduced year-long programmes for 2013-14 in four quarters. The first quarter programmes began on Friday. It will be on till June 5 coinciding with the World Environment Day.

Water resources minister P J Joseph said the programmes include Water Literacy campaign focusing on water quality and quantity, sanitation mapping, distribution of drinking water cards for residents to record water quality, mobile water analysis laboratory for quality assurance and reuse of abandoned rain water harvesting structures and renovation of old water resources such as ponds and wells, programmes in schools and colleges are also on focus

Kanivinayi (For mercy), a documentary on the theme of water protection produced by Communication and Capacity Development Unit (CCDU), was unveiled on the occasion by panchayat and social justice minister Dr M K Muneer. Over 500 representatives, including officials of Centre for Water Resource Development and Management, Jalanidhi, Jalashree and other organizations, were present on the occasion.