PUCL blasts CM over water scarcity

ASAVARI SHARMA

Says govt has failed to provide infrastructure to utilise water better.

The speakers discussed CM’s laxity in dealing with issue of water crisis.

The speakers discussed CM’s laxity in dealing with issue of water crisis. Photograph by AM.

A public hearing under the banner of People’s Union for Civil Liberties and Gujarat Lok Samiti was held at Mehdi Nawaz Jung Hall in Paldi on Monday to discuss the problem of water scarcity that has hit over 26 districts in the state. The speakers blasted Chief Minister Narendra Modi for not taking the matter seriously.

Several agitation programmes to fight the growing issue of water scarcity in the districts were chalked out at the end of the conference. Along with the Irrigation Act, the Gujarat University Amendment Bill and Gujarat Lokayukta Bill were also discussed. Notable speakers included Kanu Kalsaria, Suresh Mehta, Keshubhai Patel and others who criticised Modi for not taking responsibility of the water-ridden villages in the state. Suresh Mehta, former chief minister of the state, addressed the chief minister’s laxity in dealing with the issue.

“There is enough water in the state, but the government has failed to provide the infrastructure for better utilisation of water,” Mehta said. Former CM Keshubhai Patel said, “Modi always puts the blame on the Central government for the Narmada issue. He is trying to make the Congress-led government look anti- Gujarat over the issue.” Rohit Shukla, a social activist said, “The water scarcity not only affects farmers, but also villagers who are engaged in animal husbandry, dairy farming or are artisans. These people either commit suicide or turn to criminal activities to meet their ends.”

To deal with the problem of water scarcity, several agitational programmes have been chalked out. Four conferences will be held to discuss the Irrigation Act and Gujarat Lokayukta Amendment Bill in Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot and Narmada districts, besides distributing pamphlets and other material about the Irrigation Bill and Lokayukta Amendment Bill to make people aware about these issues.

Original link: http://www.ahmedabadmirror.com/index.aspx?page=article&sectid=3&contentid=20130409201304090223255787510ba7e

Published by Ahmedabad Mirror (Times Group) on April 9, 2013.

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