From Aridity to Artificial Flood

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The rain has brought some relief from the drought like situation. Though a little late, it is nevertheless welcome. The people of the state would have faced humanitarian crisis out of water scarcity. There were already reports of tensions brewing up among the people because of unavailability of water. The distress level could have reached an uncontrollable height, wherein people could have turned violent for their share of water. A scenario like that would be catastrophic in every sense. The state with its large number of forces including the civil police, the para-military and the army who are best equipped with latest sophisticated weapons would find it challenging to control agitated people who are deprived of the elixir of life – that is water. Who knows, the state forces might have turned against each other when the supply line goes dry in their own camp. The forces like any other human also need water. Another possible scenario would be mass migration of water refugees. In that respect, we could imagine the affluent flying away to their flats in Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai and elsewhere. The picture would be just like scenes taken out from cheap Hollywood flick that professes ‘dooms day’; panicked masses of people moving to safer places for shelter. We would like to make it clear that we are not trying to paint a picture with overtones of pessimism. The scenario that we have envisaged could be a reality if we do not learn lessons from adversities. Here, ‘we’ refer to every section of the people across the board. Together we all rely on the natural resource; a resource that we cannot produce even in the most advanced laboratory. Need we remind, as for learning lessons are concern that the government and its departments should altogether accept their mistakes, rather than parrot the clichéd catchphrase of global warming. Check deforestation on war footing. Take out massive afforestation drive. Revive the water supply plants that have been lying defunct. While acquiring land for public works, the government must respect the ecological sanctity of the wetlands that the valley has in plenty. The physical structures that have sprung up in the Lamphelpat area should be relooked. Lands are being already acquired for NIT campus and construction work for the Sewerage Plant is in progress. One should remember that Lamphelpat is a wetland area. It functions as a water reservoir that flows down from the Eroishemba and the Langol range. The chief minister Okarm Ibobi had already announced his government’s intent of maintaining the lake. We hope the CM has not forgotten his words. Some of the wetlands like Pumlen, Ikop, Waithou, Ngakrapat and Loushi are already on the verge of extinction. These wetlands should be reclaimed to bring it back to its natural form. Alongside, the public has to learn lessons from the recent dry spell. It is true that the government has the bigger role to play. Yet the public must equally take responsibility in all aspects of water conservation. For instance, maintaining of community pond, and at the same time keeping a check on pilferages and wastages of water from its sources. One good example of community participation is the recently formed water management committee of Khurai area. Now that the rain had already arrived, there is another calamity in the offing. That is the artificial flood. This time we do not expect to see the ministers and their officials taking a trip to the flooded areas. The places are the same with that of last year’s; precisely the same places that get inundated every year. So the best option for the government, as of now, would be to immediately sit down together with the officials concern and chart out concrete plan to prevent floods. That would save time, fuel and other resources. In that way, the media will also have some break from clicking photos of ministers and officials visiting the ‘affected’ sites. Let’s do some real work.

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