Over 19K Water Bodies In Odisha Drying Up
BHUBANESWAR, (IANS) – Odisha, which had found a place in the top five in the first-ever census of water bodies conducted by the Jal Shakti Ministry is now in a position where 19,630 water bodies are not in use on account of drying up, siltation, salinity, destroyed beyond repair and other reasons.
As per the census, the top five states in terms of the number of water bodies are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, and Assam which constitute around 63 percent of the total water bodies in the country.
Out of ‘in use’ water bodies, a major proportion of water bodies are used in pisciculture followed by irrigation.
Commenting on the census report, Ranjan Panda, a water activist and popularly known as the waterman of Odisha, said the state has such many water bodies because zamindars and community leaders have dug many ponds in rural areas across the state. Besides, several water bodies have been created under government schemes and programs.
However, the government needs to come up with a specific policy or program for the conservation and redevelopment of water bodies, he said.
Apart from the above, there is a need to conduct another survey of the water bodies, which were destroyed or dried up. Accordingly, an action plan should be prepared for the revival of such water bodies, suggested Panda.