Groundwater also under pressure, law needed to check exploitation: E.A.S. Sarma
Environmental activist E.A.S. Sarma on Monday said the extensive mining of mineral resources along the catchment areas of the rivers in Andhra Pradesh and the neighbouring States has posed a major threat to the rivers.
Mr. Sarma, a retired Union Secretary, spoke on the need for conservation of the rivers from many threats during a webinar organised by the Jana Sena Party (JSP) as a part of its nationwide campaign on rivers and language, titled ‘Mana Nudi Mana Nadi’.
“The Mahanadi system is under threat as at least 41 new locations have been thrown open for coal mining in its catchment area in Odisha. In Visakhapatnam district, the Kalyana Lova reservoir’s catchment area is being mined for granite. Such activities are ruining the catchment areas of various rivers flowing in Andhra Pradesh and surrounding States,” said Mr. Sarma.
“The civic society and political parties need to raise their voice against the mining activities, particularly in the catchment areas of small rivers. A combined effort led by political parties could save the rivers from drying,” he added.
Dismayed at the scale of exploitation of groundwater in urban bodies, he said, “In Andhra Pradesh, there is a tremendous pressure on the groundwater table due to urbanisation. However, there is no specific law that controls the exploitation of groundwater, which is the need of the hour.”
Mr. Sarma lauded the Jana Sena Party’s initiative to create awareness on rivers and their protection.
Bolisetti Satyanarayana and other environmentalists spoke on rivers.