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The crisis ahead; this is more dangerous

by williamgurumayum
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The state is beginning to reel under the relentless summer heat, despite the fact that the summer is yet to peak. As usual we will be experiencing the hottest temperature which is more than last year.
Most of the water bodies have dried up or are going to very soon. Reports of brewing tensions between localities arising out of utilization of common water resources, or the prevention thereof, have started pouring in from all parts, and the supply of water by the PHED have stopped in most areas of the state citing unavailability of the same.
Unlike last year some respite is seen with rain god blessing. However, it has been reported that the agricultural products in most parts of the state will see a decline this harvest season. The present situation does not augur well for the state and its people.
The impending crisis is not totally unexpected, nor natural. The past few years have seen a rapid decline in the forest areas, and despite the enforcement of the ban on deforestation and transportation of forest products in the state, at least on paper, the ground reality cannot be further from the truth. Government officials entrusted with enforcing the ban have joined hands with the smugglers to make the clandestine operations of transporting forest products smoother and more profitable, for a considerable amount of “considerations” no doubt.
The haphazard activities one has come to associate with the constructing of canals and drains in the state which undoubtedly benefits the contractors and the officials overseeing the work has their own part to play, with unconnected drains that runs above the existing roads, making it impossible for the excess water to flow down towards thee drains and canals. The result has been the consistently increasing instances of floods, even after the briefest of drizzle, especially in and around the city- a sight which was a rarity when natural drains connected each and every part of the valley, forming an effective and natural network of drainage.
The botch-up of the sewage project is perhaps the most prominent reminder of the half hearted attempt of the State Government at incorporating modern methods of development and town-planning, albeit with very limited knowledge, resources and most importantly without the political will to see it through. The much talked about benefits of Rain Water Harvesting has not been introduced in the State with right earnest as it ought to have been years ago, nor has there been any strict checks and inspections for proper utilization and treatment of water which is supplied by the Public Health Engineering Department to the consumers for as long as the present generation can remember.
Having said that, there is still time, although very limited, for the Government to act and make an earnest effort to address the present situation. Some works seen taken up like cleaning a portion of river bed or passing law for preservation of wet land are not enough. It will never be a permanent solution until those in the government acted with a mission.
Reforestation, Cleaning up the huge water bodies and ensuring they are kept that way- rivers and lakes that dot the state, as well as proper connection of the drainage systems- drains and canals, with the completion of the perennially delayed sewage system will certainly make a noticeable difference in the situation. Introduction of rain water harvesting methods in right earnest with incentives to adopt the same will go a long way in empowering the people to stock up on the elixir of life and prevent future panic situations.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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