Mohinder Asks Industry To Support Watershed Programs In Himachal

Shimla: A weak monsoon raising the need for water conservation had Mohinder Singh, urban development minister, stressed upon the need for Himachal to work for a blue revolution so as to conserve and manage freshwater supplies and economically manage its usage.

Speaking at a CII’s Project Conserve workshop here today, the minister asked industry to support watershed development programs, promote community water harvesting and encourage participatory irrigation management.

It was the need of the hour to sensitize institutes, industrialists and society at large about conserving water as a precious resource, as it affects all.

“It is important to engage industry to undertake, advocate and join the cause,” he said.

Expressing his concern at the gravity of the situation, the minister said that water management in Himachal required systematic set of legislation, capacity building, organizational change and the use of entitlements, pricing and regulatory instruments.

And it is not going to be the task of the government alone, but a concerted effort reinforced by actions from all stakeholders,” he said.

In his presentation, DK Gupta, head of the irrigation and drinking water supply department urged all industries to become water wise.

Asking industry to undergo periodical water audits, he said that there was tremendous scope for hospitality industry to reduce water consumption.

Senior scientist RC Sharma from central ground water board spoke about issues concerning water availability, probable threats and aspects concerning water governance.

Sharma impressed upon the need for water education, usage of water saving hardware, required regulations, water reuse and recycle of water as a key for sustenance of businesses.

The Shimla workshop was organized in collaboration with Coca- Cola India. In his presentation Praveen Aggarwal, general manager Coca Coal India said that the company had adopted a policy of water neutrality for its 55 plants that are in India.

He said that the target for the company was to become water neutral by 2009, itself but was only 8% short to get there yet.

The soft drink major had adopted water harvesting in a big way to draw less ground water and from other natural sources to feed it plants, said Aggarwal.

Project CONSERVE is a CII initiative to promote industry engagement on rainwater harvesting and community water conservation programmes through collaborative projects, technologies and expanded information sharing

Under the Project Conserve, sensitization sessions have already been organised in different states of Northern India including Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh reaching out to over 400 industry representatives.

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