By Shradha Chauhan and Aman Kumar
Sant Balbir Singh Seechewal, a river conservationist best known for resurrecting the Kali Bein rivulet, expressed concern over the issues of conservation and pollution of water in the country. Speaking on the recent case of drainage of molasses into the Beas river by a factory in Gurdaspur, Seechewal said, “Both the government and the factory are responsible. The government has made rules but people are reluctant to follow them.” Targeting the pollution board in particular, he said, “It is primarily the responsibility of the pollution board which seems to be callously going about the task of keeping a check on the factories.”
Seechewal, who was at the Sukhna Lake as the chief guest of the Kayaking and Canoeing Senior National Championship on Saturday, also talked about the significance of water conservation and the need to teach children in schools about it. “We have to teach our youth and the kids in schools about the importance of water as a resource and the methods to conserve it. People have a tendency to waste water as they do not realise that the sources are depleting.”
The Padma Shri awardee also raised concern about the recent case of water crisis that hit Shimla. “We must change our thinking about water. It is life supporting and there is no substitute for it. We are continuously extracting and using water carelessly. It is time for us to be more attentive and responsible for our resources.”
Seechewal was here on the final day of the national championship. Besides being a river conservationist, he is also a water sports enthusiast. Seechewal has an academy of his own in which 55 students are enrolled and trained at present.