Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today inaugurated the Odisha Environment Congress 2017 at Regional Museum of Natural History here.
Addressing the gathering Naveen said, “I am delighted to be here today to inaugurate the Odisha environment Congress 2017 that is poised to deliberate on Sustainable River Basin Management. I hope that the issues pertaining to the theme will reach larger public domain, especially the young masses”.
Rivers are integrally involved with the grown and development of human civilization. It is thus the responsibility of society to ensure that the rivers live in good health and continue to serve humanity in a sustainable manner. The gluttony for water, territorial approach to ownership over river water and utter disregard to environmental needs of the river system have most often led to water conflict. Unless all riparian State respect the basic philosophy and principles of equitable sharing of river water with due regard to its health and follow the territorial approach, such conflicts are bound to magnify in future and lead to disharmony in the country. Such attempts must be addressed by following judicious approach of the needs of each of the stake-holders including that of the river. None of the stake-holders be allowed to shy away from their mandated responsibilities towards healthy river system, he added.
My government gas launched several programmes for water conservation, rain water harvesting and ground water recharge in a sustainable manner. We have started an ambitious plantation programme for plantation of two crore trees within a radius of one kilometer along both the sides of Mahanadi and other major rivers of the State for water and soil conservation. An integrated approach to river basin management is needed with focus on water-use-efficiency in both agricultural as well as industry. This may save adequate water for the river to serve itself. Conscious efforts by all to reduce pollution load on the river system would be beneficial to both human society as well as to the nature, he stressed.
My government strongly believes that healthy rivers are required for healthy society. We are committed to equitable distribution as well as sustainable utilization of the water available on the earth. Our State Water Policy recognizes drinking water supply and environmental needs as the priority areas of water use followed by agriculture and hydro-power generation. I expect that Odisha Environment Congress 2017 will provide implementable solutions for the best management of our water resources to meet the future needs of the people of Odisha. I wish this Environment Congress all success, the Chief Minister concluded