Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government has started an ambitious plantation programme for plantation of two crore trees within a km along both sides of Mahanadi and other major rivers of the state for water and soil conservation, said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Wednesday.
Inaugurating the three-day Odisha Environment Congress on Sustainable River Basin Management at Regional Museum of Natural History here, the Chief Minister said, “An integrated approach to river basin management is needed with focus on water-use-efficiency in both agriculture as well as industry. This may save adequate water for the river to serve itself. Conscious efforts by all to reduce pollution load on river system would be beneficial to both human society as well as the nature.”
“Rivers are integrally involved with the growth and development of human civilization. It is thus the responsibility of society to ensure that the rivers live in good health and continue to serve the humanity in a sustainable manner. The gluttony for water, territorial approach to ownership over river water and utter disregard to environmental needs of the river system have most often led to water conflict,” Naveen said.
“Unless all riparian state respect the basic philosophy and principles of equitable sharing of river water with due regard to its health and follow the territorial approach, such conflicts are bound to magnify in future and lead to disharmony in the country. Such attempts must be addressed by following judicious needs of each of the stakeholders including that of the river. None of the stakeholders be allowed to shy away from their mandated responsibilities towards healthy river system,” he added.
Noted environmentalist and river man Rajendra Singh stressed on the importance of healthy rivers and appreciated the state government’s water policy and efforts.