Hyderabad: Indian Water Council (IWC), a national-level organisation floated less than a month ago, tasked itself with a major mission aimed at rejuvenating Krishna river.
IWC, an off-shoot of the World Water Council (WWC), plans to mobilise action against critical water issues in the country. V Prakash Rao, one of the founder members of IWC and Chairman of Telangana Water Resources Development Corporation (TWRDC), said a major plan is on the anvil for rejuvenation of the Krishna by adopting a four-pronged approach. This is: addressing river pollution, clearing encroachment of water bodies, discouraging over extraction of groundwater and stopping deforestation in the river basin.
Not only the water yield of the river basin has been coming down drastically year after year, but even the quality of water is deteriorating. As part of the special initiative taken up by IWC, a national convention will be organised on May 22 in Hyderabad to have deliberations on the Rejuvenation of Krishna River involving all stakeholder organisations.
Some 300 delegates, including representatives from different States and NGOs of the four basin States — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh — will participate. He said the brainstorming at the session will help formulate an action plan for rejuvenation of the river and all its tributaries in the next 10 years.
A massive programme will be taken up for building awareness and sensitisation of people living in 40-odd cities and towns on the banks of the river. Industries releasing their effluents into the river would be asked to set up treatment plants.
Prakash Rao said IWC will announce its new committee at the convention. The body was formed with Rajender Singh, the waterman of India who was instrumental for the revival of many tributaries of major rivers, as its chairman. He said the cultivation of irrigation intensive crops such as paddy has to be discouraged.
There was no representation on the government side from India during the past 20 years. He happened to be the first government representative from an Indian State at the World Water Forum, the biggest water-related event organised by WWC at Brasilia in Brazil from March 18 to 23.
On the sidelines of the world meet, the representatives who attended it had a separate meeting and decided to form IWC. He said Telangana will be the first State in India to become a member of WWC. At the behest of State Irrigation Minister T Harish Rao, he said he applied for the WWC membership as well and it will be granted soon.