WET-LAND IN SAND
In 2016, “the desert state” Rajasthan has received significant rainfall with the blessings of God. Reportedly, the arid state has received more water in a single week than what it receives annually on average. Excessive flow of water has unexpectedly caused floods in various water deficit regions of the state such that the situation demands Indian Military and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) to rescue and evacuate people from the affected areas.
In this scenario however, what has been exposed to be the lacunae on our part is the disaster management in the state which is effectively non-existent at the local level and preservation of the natural resources which fails to hold such good inflow of water and allows it to drain out without doing any good to the dry areas. Alas! Nature will have the last laugh when the state will again begin to die of thirst in not more than six months. With such a poor understanding of our dire need to preserve water and aware people about managing the natural resources at their personal level, we expect the state to prosper and thrive.
As a matter of fact, this concerns the whole of India and not Rajasthan in particular. The policies framed by the concerned Governments or the ideas espoused by the motivated citizens, be it regarding connecting all the rivers within the country for better water management or creating reservoirs at the local level through water harvesting, appear to be excellent but in practicality, lie only on papers. Even the decades old simple and effective scheme like water harvesting has barely penetrated among the masses because it takes some money and civic sense to develop the required infrastructure which the people don’t want to use.
However, on this auspicious 70th independence day when India will be about a generation old of having gained independence, I urge all the respected citizens of this country including the state of Rajasthan to learn to preserve water till the time the incumbent Government with positive approach takes any assertive step on this aspect. Fellow citizens! You will have to understand that it is the basic need of the hour and will be fruitful to each one of us. All that needs to be done is to dig out small chambers at various places with appropriate slope connected to a big reservoir which collects all the water. The one thing to be kept in mind is that these chambers should be covered with small openings so that the litter does not mix with water.
I also request each one of you to kindly tweet or message the present government to implement the scheme of water harvesting in every nook and corner of the urban areas which will serve as a long lasting source of combating water scarcity for the generations to come. Jai Hind!
-Guest article by Naman Maheshwari