Waterman of India raps UP for ignoring groundwater level dip

There is no river left in the state whose water is fit for drinking or even bathing.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published: May 17, 2013 2:15 am

Cautioning the Uttar Pradesh government over ignoring decline in groundwater levels,‘Waterman of India’ Rajendra Singh on Thursday said that the state’s water sources and resources are polluting fast. He urged the state government to identify and demarcate its rivers and ponds and pass a river policy at the earliest.

“There is no river left in the state whose water is fit for drinking or even bathing. When it comes to ponds,the state has recorded the steepest decline in number and deterioration of its ponds in all of India,since Independence,as per our recent study,” Singh said.

He was here to launch the second phase of ‘Jan Jal Jod Abhiyan’,an initiative to “reconnect the local communities with local water bodies”.

“The biggest issue of present times is that of pollution and decline of groundwater levels in the state. The most horrific activity is being carried out in the state,where the ‘zero discharge’ industries,such as tanneries in Kanpur,bore into the ground and push all the dirty water back into it,” he said.

“The state cannot fulfil its economic and developmental ambitions by simply ignoring this and if you cannot keep the rivers of your state healthy,you cannot keep the people of your state healthy.”

“In 2002,the Uttar Pradesh government had submitted an affidavit in the Allahabad High Court stating that it will rejuvenate 52,000 ponds of the state,but no actual progress has been made,” added Sanjay Singh,national organiser of the campaign.

Regarding formulation of a river policy,Singh said he had met Rural Engineering Minister Rajendra Singh Rana on December 17 last,“who had publicly assured me of a river policy ‘soon’,but there has been no progress regarding the policy”.

Arriving from Maharashtra,Singh recounted success stories in phase one,which included about a dozen states.

In UP,the campaign will be undertaken in five phases,which will include awareness rallies from Lucknow to Bundelkhand,from Banda to Sonbhadra and from Varanasi to Gorakhpur. Singh will meet the additional chief secretary among other government officials on Friday.

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