**Bhubaneswar: ** Inaugurating the Odisha Environment Congress-2017 at Regional Museum of Natural History here on Wednesday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said issues pertaining to the theme ‘Sustainable River Basin Management’ will reach larger public domain, especially the young masses.
In his key note address, the Odisha Chief Minister said, “My Government strongly believes that healthy rivers are required for healthy society. We are committed to equitable distribution as well as sustainable utilisation of the water available on the earth. Our State Water Policy recognises drinking water supply and environmental needs as the priority areas of water use followed by agriculture and hydero-power generation.”
“I expect that Odisha Environment Congress 2017 will provide implementable solutions for the best management of our water resources to meet the future needs of the people of Odisha,” said the CM.
He also informed, “My Government has launched several programmes for water conservation, rain water harvesting and ground water recharge in a sustainable manner. We have started an ambitious plantation programme for plantation of two crore trees within a radius of one kilometre along both the sides of the Mahanadi and other major rivers of the State for water and soil conservation.”
Speaking on the occasion, noted environmentalist and Water Man of India Dr Rajendra Singh stressed on the importance of healthy rivers.
Singh appreciated the Water Policy and water management efforts of the State Government.
In his media reactions, the Water Man of India said, “At this Odisha Environment Congress 2017, activists from across the country working on river issues have congregated here. The way the 3-day-long deliberation has been planned in this Congress, I hope a solution and decision ensuring sustainable development, river basin management, river ecology, environmental flow and river’s land for river.”
“Hence, the linking of the river is the most dangerous project. It will ignite enmity among us. There will be strife relating to river water sharing. Inter-linking of the rivers will give rise to a new crisis. There will be a dangerous human escaping crisis. It is dangerous land escape crisis,” the Water Man warned.