Ranjan K Panda
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Water White Paper is a MUST for Odisha now!
Water Initiatives Odisha (WIO) has been demanding a white paper on water availability in the state for long. While the state is yet to pay a heed to this and still going ahead with rapid and blind water guzzling industrialization, the industries have now shown their concerns on the lack of proper information. Please see the following news published in the New Indian Express with regard to that.
Hope, going by the history of listening to industries, the state will come up with a white paper. However, the way the industries want it is going to be dangerous for the state and the water resources. As you can see from the news, they want water without cost or at throw away prices; they dont want any procedural hassles; and now they are also eying surface water bodies and reservoirs.
What is also interesting to note is the Industry Secretary's address which confirms many of WIO's apprehensions that we have been raising for long with regard to the state's way of dealing with industrial water requirement. As you can note, Mr. T. Ramachandru has left it to the industries to assess their requirements and use (including over use). This tells the sorry state of water governance in the state where the onus of regulation is left to the culprit!! WIO has been demanding the state to make these issues clear as we have been pointing out that the state has only been dolling out 'allocation figures' in public domain, that too old statistics. What we really need is the real extraction: present and future. Or else, the state, as we had warned, is surely going to be a severely water stressed one in a decade.
In fact, no further MoUs with water guzzling industries should be signed and all MoUs that are already signed should be kept on hold till a white paper on the exact status of water and future demands by all sectors is released and debated in public and among all sections of society.
We at WIO will keep pressuring the government to release such a white paper for benefit of the common people and ecology of the state.
Thanks and regards,
Water Initiatives Odisha: Fighting water woes, combating climate change... more than two decades now!
Industries demand white paper on water availability
Express News Service
Bhubaneswar, March 8
The industries today called upon the State Government to come out with a white paper on availability of water for industrial purpose even as the latter called for surrender of excess allocation by the former to enable provisioning to new enterprises. There are huge discrepancies in water allocation for industries at present. While some have been allocated more than required, others are struggling to cover their minimum needs. The problem is compounded with the steep increase in water charges by the Government, the industries rued.
Engaging in a discussion wtih industry representatives during the CII organised session on 'Industrialisation in Odisha - Issues and challenges', Industry Secretary T Ramachandru said that all units already allocated water should reassess their requirement and surrender the excess. This could be utilised in addressing the needs of others, He emphasised on conservation of water and putting in place storage mechanisms for utilisation during scarcity periods. Land will be made available to industries for water storage purpose, he said.
members of the industry, however, voiced objections to the hike in water charges and demanded a re-look. When the Government is spending any money on infrastructure for making water available at the doorstep, charging high rates is not fair, the members deemed.
They also called for revamping existing water bodies in different pockets and converting them into reservoirs to hold water that could be supplied to industries. Anshupa lake was a case in point, some said. The industries also called for regulating the arbitrary fixation of prices of iron ore and minerals by the private mines owners and OMC. The restrictive prices have affected the industries to such an extent that most are on the verge of closure, sponge iron manufacturers said. Transportation has also been raised as a major area of concern with industries calling on the Government to regulate the transport fare too. The Government on its part sought suggestions from the CII and other bodies to address the pressing problems.
Among others IPICOL CMD C. J. Venugopal, Transport Secretary Gagan Dhal, Energy Secretary PK Jena, CII Orissa outgoing Chairman RK Jena and newly elected Chairman BL Bagra were present.
Source: The New Indian Express, Bhubaneswar Edition, 9th March 2011
Ranjan K Panda
Ranjan K Panda
R-3/A-4, J. M. Colony, Budharaja