Karur, Tamil Nadu, Apr 5: The Tamil Nadu Environment Council (TNEC) has urged the state government to form a separate Water and Water Resources Protection Ministry to safeguard water sources prevent the State from slipping into a water crisis and address floods and droughts. In a statement here today, TNEC District Convener J Christuraj said the Council had launched a signature campaign to be forwarded to the Chief Minister to mobilise support for the cause.
He said the state, which constituted seven per cent of the Indian population, enjoyed just three per cent share of water resources. Forest cover was just 17.7 per cent of the total land area, including hills, and the extent of wasteland was increasing by the day. Deforestation of mangroves, removal of sand dunes along the coast for tourism purposes, and indiscriminate sand mining along seashores and in river beds were causing irreparable damage to the ecosystem, he added.
Besides, the non-cooperation among Ministries like the Public Works, Agriculture, Horticulture, Fisheries, Forests and Industries, and the Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board in planning for an economic and sustainable water use, also did the damage, he said.