A workshop to discuss the new water policy being drafted by the central government was organised by the Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development today.
Discussing this crucial issue,former vice-chancellor of Punjabi University,Patiala,S S Johl,emphasised on the need for purification and recycling of the water to compensate for the depletion of water.
He also raised concerns on the usage of water by the state of Punjab.
According to him only 20 per cent of water is utilised from the water resources while underground water which is lifted is 80 per cent.
We have 4 per cent of the worlds water and 2.6 per cent of the worlds land. Hence,we are very favourably placed. The mother of all problems is increasing population which has further led to subsequent problems such as decreasing water level.
Johl further said that the recycled water could not be used in the irrigation of root vegetables like carrot and radish as it could lead to the tapeworm and hookworm making these vegetables unfit for human consumption.
He also criticised the lackadaisical attitude of Punjab governments over the last 15 years on the issue.
Nothing can be done without an intention. The government does not have the will and strength to draft a strong and workable water policy, he said.
Dr G S Dhillion,retired chief engineer Punjab Irrigation Department emphasised on the need for declaring water as the fundamental right.
He also criticised the policy drafted by the government where distribution of waterfalls in the hands of the private sector.
Also he discouraged the governments approach towards declaring water as economic commodity.
Quoting the example of Israel which regularly monitors and filters the sewage water Dr Dhillon pointed to the need of following the same trend in the country.
The entire group demanded stronger policy which would be helpful in curbing the problem of depletion of water in the state.