Water Crisis

Water Crisis

Prof Brahma Chellaney, in his classic Water: Asia’s New Battleground, argues that it is water – the acute paucity of it – that might drive the next world war or wars across continents with countries grappling with the shortage of one of the most fundamental needs for survival. China, for instance, has had a furtive plan underway for long to divert the waters of the Brahmaputra – Yarlung Tsangpo as it is known in Tibet – at the Great Bend area to cater to the needs of its parched northwest. Now we have India’s “water man” Rajendra Singh, known for his remarkable pro-water initiatives, expressing surprise at the deficit of water in a State known as the Abode of Clouds, Meghalaya. Interacting with the media at Lyngkyrderm village in the State the other day, he expressed surprise at the water crisis hitting a region that boasts of the world’s wettest place, Sohra. “But where does the water from Meghalaya flow to? It is out of the country,” he wondered. Given the crisis that is only becoming graver and graver, and with the government virtually clueless as to how a solution could be arrived at, he suggested that if the residents of the State were to be concerned about their future vis-à-vis the water issue, they would do well to start planting trees and conserve both soil and water to rejuvenate the springs where rivers take birth. He also rightly harped on the “only solution” – enhancing the green cover – to the crisis stemming from climate change and global warming. While it is incumbent on the Meghalaya government to hammer out a comprehensive water policy – Shillong faces one of the worst water woes – it is equally imperative for all State governments of the Northeast to ensure that the region as a whole is free from the crisis. On the other hand, it is astonishing that despite the mighty Brahmaputra coursing through the heart of Assam, the region has now to confront water deficit. It cannot afford a situation like the one in Bundelkhand where people are reportedly turning violent just because water has morphed into such a major life-and-death issue. The warning must serve as motivation enough for solid action to ensure water for one and all by all means possible within the domain of rapidly evolving technologies too.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Sentinel Assam
www.sentinelassam.com