Crispino Lobo,Managing Trustee,Watershed Organization Trust (WOTR),on Tuesday said the drought situation in the state combined with related problems of water distribution are man-made and can be easily reversed.
Speaking at a seminar Water Management in Maharashtra: Issues and Challenges organised by the RK Laxman Chair Initiatives of the Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication (SIMC) in the city,he said,Majority of villages in the state do not follow methods of water conservation and fail to use rain water. However,villages which adopted watershed development programme were saved from the atrocities of nature, he said.
Citing the example of Kasarwadi village in Jalna district which adopted watershed programme in 2006,he said it was one of the few villages in the district which had round-the-clock water even when drought was at its peak.
The key to success is to involve villagers in the programme and make them responsible for their work. Also,there should be honesty and transparency while implementing these projects, he said.
Pradeep Lokhande,social worker and CEO of Rural Relations,said watershed management was the need of the hour. Peoples participation is key to bring about a change in water sector as projects cannot be successfully implemented without their support, he said.
Lokande said it was necessary that people follow positive examples to fight negativity in society at large.
Meanwhile,member of Jal Biradari Vinod Bodhankar blamed urban centres for increasing pollution in rivers and other water bodies.
Talking about the water bodies in Pune,Bodhankar said the command area of the Ujjani dam is severely polluted as Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad release untreated sewage into it. The cities are killing the rivers and until we wake up,this would snowball into a major issue, he said.
Eminent journalist and RK Laxman chair professor Dileep Padgaonkar urged the students to understand and address various changes happening in society. We have to address the changes as the big news for India would be in rural areas, he said.