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| Last Updated:: 20/04/2015

“State must enact water security Act”

 Rajasthan-based environmental activist Rajendra Singh, popularly known as ‘water man,’ wants Cooum’s pollution points plugged.


In order to ensure equal distribution of water to all, Rajasthan-based environmental activist Rajendra Singh, popularly known as ‘water man,’ will be approaching the State government asking it to come up a water security Act.


As part of the Act, he wants the government to give priority to preserving the ancient water bodies by removing encroachments and make them useful to people.


“There should be a perfect balance between recharge and discharge of water. The government should also ensure that the rivers flow without any obstruction and sewer should not pollute them,” he said.


Tough time for Chennai

Winner of the Stockholm Water Prize this year for his innovative water restoration efforts and courage to empower communities in Indian villages, Mr. Singh told The Hindu that next five years will be a challenging time for Chennai in handling its water supply.


“Though the demand for water is high, the city is losing out as traditional sources of water supply are not well maintained. If the city manages its waterways effectively and ensures harvesting of rainwater, then the situation can improve,” he said.


Water management also played a vital role, he said recommending that metering system be expanded across all households in the city.


Those who use excess water should be made to pay more as penalty for damaging the eco-system. “With this money, the government can improve the distribution system,” he said.


Mr. Singh also has suggestions to improve the condition of the Cooum river.


“The polluting points should be demarcated and polluting sources prevented from draining into the river. It should be treated and diverted for agriculture and industrial use. Encroachment, pollution and exploitation of the Cooum should be controlled,” he said.


Community involvement


All this should be done with community involvement, without which such projects will never succeed. “They should be educated about their responsibilities and taken on ‘river walks.’ The role of youth in such activities is very important,” he emphasised.


Later in the evening, he took part in the launch of ‘public platform for water’ organised by an environmental group called Poovulagin Nanbargal and 20 similar movements.