Besides quenching thirst, water also fetches votes. This is the advice from Rajendra Singh, known as India's waterman, to politicians and political parties on the eve of polls. Singh addressed a conference at Asian Development Research Institute (ADRI) in Patna on Wednesday.
Expressing dismay at the non-inclusion of river or water in any political manifesto, Singh painted a grim scenario. He said the state which had abundant water would soon be facing the worst crisis as its aquifers had dried up due to unscientific extraction of water.
In his view, Bihar, which is endowed with many rivers with different eco-systems, has ignored its vital resources for too long. Referring to sand mining, he said large scale mining by mafia-turned-contractors with political patronage had irreparably damaged aquifers in Kosi and Sone areas where underground water was regularly re-charged. This is the area where people experience drought and floods at the same time.
Referring to the apathy of political leaders to the issue, he said Nitish Kumar had declared that new regulations would be in place for use of pump sets to save underground water. But it is easier said than done, he lamented.
He assured political leaders that water would fetch political dividends. "Look at Narendra Modi who won the 2015 election only on the promise of reviving the Ganga," Singh said, adding he forgot about it soon though. Singh believes that the issue, if ignored further, would create social crisis on unprecedented scale sooner than later.
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Updated Date: Oct 08, 2015 17:48:20 IST