Seminar on “Environmental issues in Water Resources Projects” organized by CWC

Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation

Seminar on “Environmental issues in Water Resources Projects” organized by CWC

Posted On: 09 OCT 2018 4:59PM by PIB Delhi

Central Water Commission (CWC), Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation today organized a day-long seminar on “Environment Issues in Water Resources Projects” at New Delhi. The seminar was organized at a time when concerns over issues of sustainable development are being raised from several quarters.

Inaugurating the seminar, Shri U.P. Singh, Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation said, “We no longer talk of development now. We talk of sustainable development and I am happy that CWC has initiated such a dialogue which is very necessary.” Shri Singh added, “While the pendulum should not swing completely in the direction opposite to development, we can no longer ignore the ecological management. Better management of water resources should be done keeping in mind the ecological concerns and the impacts of the development projects must be studied properly.”

Chairman, CWC, Shri S. Masood Hussain stressed on the need to strike a balance between development and environment. “A kind of split has taken place between development and environment. There is no doubt that environmental issues today are one of the most important concerns not just in water sector but others too as manifests in climate change. Its importance cannot be overemphasized. The challenge in the water resources sector is to balance the need for development and environment concerns while ensuring sustainability.” He added, “The dilemma is that there is not much debate over this issue as a result of which many projects are being stalled. There is an urgent need for a proper scientific discussion in this regard and that is the objective of this seminar.”

During the day-long seminar, the adverse effects of developmental projects in water sector such as displacement of people, submergence of forest and agricultural land, disturbance to biodiversity, flora & fauna , wildlife and e-flow of rivers were raised by several speakers. The need to safeguard against such ill-effects and minimize them through proper Resettlement and Rehabilitation (R&R) plans, Environment Management Plans, Forest Protection Plans etc. was equally emphasized by the speakers. Various experts from different departments discussed at length on “Challenges in Resettlement & Rehabilitation of Water Resources projects”, “Issues in Getting Environmental/Forest/Wildlife Clearances”, “Environmental Flows”, “Aquatic Ecosystem Management - Issues & Solutions” etc.  

Raising an important point of inter-ministerial and inter-departmental coordination, former Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources Shri S.K. Sarkar said that water is a complex and vast subject and crosses several ministries, departments and states. The time has come to think holistically and develop a synchronized mechanism to avoid delays and ensure a healthy environment.

The seminar provided a platform for discussion among experts from stakeholder organizations like Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, CWC, National Water Development Agency, WAPCOS, Narmada Control Authority, Central Ground Water Board, Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, National Institute of Hydrology, Tehri Hydropower Development Corporation, National Hydro Power Corporation, State Government of Gujarat, NGPs and others. 

The organizers and speakers expressed hope that the suggestions and feedbacks from the seminar will help in informed decision making at the policy level.

Source: PIB

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