Rajasthan is faced alongside an unprecedented H2O crisis. For over several years now, Rajasthan was drying up. With successive main ministers busy inviting investments – to opened upwardly up malls, hotels, H2O parks, existent estate projects, particular economical zones, golf game courses — the semi-arid lands of the Thar deserts receive got been sucked dry.
Rajasthan is inwards reality heading towards a H2O famine.
I practise non know the yardstick that determines whether the province is faced alongside a famine-like province of affairs or non but the fact remains that H2O trains together with H2O tankers are quenching the thirst inwards all 33 districts. Reports say that daily render of H2O through H2O trains is coming together the drinking H2O requirement of Bhilwara together with Pali districts. In addition, H2O tankers are catering to the needs of 77 cities/towns together with 15,287 villages.
This is sure an alarming situation. But it did non tumble out overnight. In 2009 also, H2O trains together with tankers were pressed inwards to service to run into the requirement of 10,918 villages together with towns. In fact, alongside each passing twelvemonth the H2O crisis is worsening.
Influenza A virus subtype H5N1 educate leaves every 24-hour interval from Kota to Bhilwara alongside water, together with some other educate departs for Sojat block inwards Pali district. There is a proposal to add together some other H2O educate carrying 14.40 lakh litres of H2O every 24-hour interval for Bhilwara district. The crisis has reached such an ebbing signal that all officials concerned alongside H2O supplies receive got been asked to last dorsum on duty, together with the province authorities is monitoring H2O render province of affairs every week.
I am aware that monsoon rains receive got been playing truant for quite some time. But this is non the starting fourth dimension time inwards history when pelting gods receive got non been then form to people living inwards Rajasthan. Yes, history tells us that Rajasthan was never faced a H2O famine similar province of affairs that it is passing through now. And that also at a fourth dimension when Rajasthan has given the dry reason 2 well-known H2O warriors – Rajender Singh together with Lachchman Singh.
Some fourth dimension dorsum my friend Anupam Mishra of the Gandhi Peace Foundation inwards New Delhi wrote an fantabulous volume “Aaj bhi khare hain talaab”. The volume is based on the remarkable H2O harvesting together with traditional H2O conserving structures that Rajasthan provided. The volume has been best-seller for several years, together with is beingness referred to globally. But unfortunately, successive governments together with the policy makers inwards Rajasthan never made an attempt to read the book, together with instead travelled to State of Israel to acquire near drip-irrigation.
The H2O crisis that Rajasthan is faced alongside is inwards many ways a man-made crisis. I receive got ever been maxim that blame for H2O crisis is thirty per cent on the truant monsoon, together with the remaining seventy per cent is man-made. We are primarily responsible for accentuating drought atmospheric condition because of the relentless H2O mining that nosotros receive got indulged inwards merrily over the years. But receive got nosotros learnt whatsoever lessons? Are nosotros willing to brand necessary corrections howsoever radical they may be? The respond is NO.
I practise non empathise why a dry out province similar Rajasthan encourages golf game courses. Each 18-hole golf game assort daily consumes H2O equivalent to the needs of near 20,000 households. Each supermarket mall that is beingness built, swallow on an average 1,000 litres of H2O per mortal who comes to shop. Each five-star hotel consumes some other 600 litres per mortal per day. The worst are the existent estate projects. They literally mine water.
What is the purpose of saving H2O inwards the parched together with arid lands of Rajasthan if nosotros let the marble industry, producing almost 91 per cent of full marble inwards India, to guzzle every hr only about 2.75 i M one thousand litres of water. No wonder the purplish lakes of Rajasthan receive got all gone dry.
It doesn’t terminate here. I receive got never fathomed the wisdom of allowing sugarcane together with cotton fiber to last cultivated inwards the semi-arid regions. To arrive much worse, water-guzzling cutting flowers together with jetropha tillage is beingness promoted. We demand to know that sugarcane for illustration requires iii times to a greater extent than H2O than wheat together with rice set together. Common feel tells us that nosotros should last cultivating crops which require less H2O inwards the dry out lands. Why can’t Rajasthan cultivate mustard, jower together with bajra on a large scale, together with also accept to pulses. All these crops require really less water.
To brand its economic science workable, Rajasthan must adopt an agricultural policy that lays emphasis together with provides assured marketplace for these coarse cereals together with pulses. It needs to redesign the cost structures inwards such a mode that farmers practise non lose out when they cultivate pulses together with crops similar jower together with bajra. In fact, Rajasthan tin easily plow into a pulse bowl of the country, coming together the shortfall that the dry reason faces continuously inwards cases of pulses.
At the same time, I am shocked to acquire that that agricultural universities inwards Rajasthan genuinely promote the tillage of hybrid crops — hybrid rice, hybrid sorghum, hybrid maize, hybrid cotton fiber together with hybrid vegetables — which require almost 1.5 times to 2 times to a greater extent than H2O than the high-yielding varieties. On pinnacle of it the authorities is right away busy pushing Bt cotton, whose H2O requirement is 10-20 per cent to a greater extent than than fifty-fifty the hybrid varieties of cotton.
You tin ignore these suggestions at your peril. Don’t forget, a recent study past times NASA has already warned that Punjab, Haryana together with Rajasthan are consuming 109 cubic kms of H2O inwards vi years. NASA finds that the groundwater withdrawal is seventy per cent to a greater extent than inwards this decade than inwards the 1990s. At this rate, Rajasthan would last the worst affected. It already is.
If Rajasthan does non wake upwardly now, the fourth dimension is non far away when at that topographic point volition last majority exodus from inside the state. People volition last left alongside no option but to migrate. Let us non forget, Mohenjo daro civilization collapsed non really far away from where Rajasthan is today.