By Our Reporter
SHILLONG, Dec 5: renowned as the Waterman of India, Rajendra Singh emphasised on the need for a community-driven decentralized water management system in Meghalaya instead of endorsing water privatization.
Singh, famed for revitalizing traditional water storage techniques in Rajasthan, expressed concern over Meghalaya’s water situation despite abundant rainfall, attributing it to a lack of knowledge about conservation.
Singh was in the city to attend the third session of the farmers’ parliament and stood shocked at the state of water affairs in the city.
“Meghalaya which is blessed with abundant rainfall has to see drought for half of the year. If this is happening in the abode of the clouds, what will happen to the water dearth states?” he queried.
Singh also highlighted Meghalaya’s potential for three crops, currently limited to one, by mastering water retention. He stressed that a significant portion of the state’s water flows to Assam and Bangladesh, advocating the use of traditional conservation methods to preserve streams and water bodies.
“Meghalaya is now heavily dependent on one crop, while it has the potential for three, only if it takes the conservation seriously,” he stated.
While observing the water conditions in the city, Singh remarked on Meghalaya’s paradoxical experience of drought despite being known as the abode of clouds. Addressing the urgency to tackle climate issues, he insisted on aligning water conservation efforts with climate stabilization.
Expressing shock at the water scarcity in the city, where residents must purchase water, Singh recommended promoting water communization over business-driven privatization. Having shared this perspective with Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, he suggested integrating water conservation and rejuvenation into educational curricula to instill awareness among the youth for sustainable water practices.