KOCHI: Water Resources Minister Mathew T Thomas on Monday said the floods have taught the state lessons on the proper utilisation of water resources.“People shouldn’t forget the lessons the floods have taught us,” he said during the inauguration of the Ground Water Department office in Kakkanad.
“Blocking the water flow through encroachment will result in severe floods like what the state witnessed this year. The gain from illegal encroachments will be short. The general public should come forward to bring life back to rivers and water bodies where water flow has reduced drastically due to illegal encroachment.” He said flood-hit places are experiencing a severe scarcity of water post floods. The groundwater level has not improved even after the state received abundant rain.
“We should adopt a scientific approach to see that rain increases the groundwater level in the state. The Ground Water Department has a crucial to play in this regard. The groundwater level, quantity, flow of water in the water bodies and the quantity of seepage should be recorded properly.“This will help greatly in countering drought in several parts of the state. The Ground Water Department and the Kerala Water Authority (KWA) will be trained to adopt a scientific method in managing water resources,” he said. The Minister said the state government expects a fund of Rs 3,000 crore to be sanctioned by the Centre as part of the third phase implementation of the National Hydrology Project.
He said the agencies concerned should monitor the illegal exploitation of groundwater. There are 873 observation wells in the state to monitor the groundwater level. Even then, the illegal exploitation of groundwater cannot be ruled out. Permission for borewell should be granted after proper checking, he said. The Minister also directed the various water resources agencies to evict encroachment.
The new office in Kakkanad was constructed as a part of the second phase implementation of the National Hydrology Project. The building will have five offices, including the Ground Water Department District Office, Regional Data Processing Centre and a water examination laboratory.
The building has been constructed using a World Bank fund of Rs 3 crore and a state government fund of Rs 1.25 crore. P T Thomas MLA, K V Thomas MP, and District Panchayat president Asha Sanil among others spoke.