Dry spell has exposed failure of policies:Prof Desarda

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Nasik, Jul 29 (UNI) Prof H M Desarda, vice-president Maharashtra Famine Relief and Eradication Committee, today said the present long dry spell in the state has exposed failure of the land water and resources utilisation policies.

''First and foremost it is necessary to understand the difference between drought and famine. Moreover, there are droughts of different degrees and kinds, while droughts as an integral part of weather cycle is a natural phenomenon. Famine is always man-made and often aggravated by the erroneous and topsy-turvy policies, precisely this is what happened in Maharashtra. In fact, the meteorological drought and the long dry spell need not lead to agricultural drought and it can be handled by proper land use planning and cropping pattern, he said.

All in all, when it causes hydrological drought as is the situation at present, it is a clear case of policy failure.

Undoubtedly, it is related to water management issues and is the outcome of policies like water guzzling on crops such as sugarcane and urban and industrial policies.

He also stressed the need to overhaul the land water forest policies, responsible for soil erosion and decline in the revetarion cover causing pervasive water scarcity.

Prof Desarda also advocated massive programme of community-based micro watershed development, based on the scientific principle of the 'ridge to valley'.

He urged need for resource literacy, social justice and sustainable development to overcome the problem.

UNI GB ZA KK ND1800

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