Thursday, April 14, 2016

Water crisis and the IPL

Read an excellent interview with Yogendra Yadav on the furore over the water crisis in Maharashtra and elsewhere and the question of moving IPL out of the state (since ordered by the High Court).

It's not that IPL is going to impact the water situation. It's just it seems rather extravagant in the face of a crisis:
I am in favour of shifting the matches. Not because I feel there is any relation to the IPL matches and the drought, not because the IPL is aggravating the drought, nor do I believe that shifting IPL matches from these grounds will alleviate the drought.
There is no direct relation, but there's a symbolic relation. The IPL is not a sport, but an extravaganza. It is a festival.
It is a tamasha and there is something obscene and vulgar about holding this kind of festivity in the middle of a drought.
And how would not holding the IPL matches help? It would help not in terms of litres of water and so on; all these arguments are silly. This entire controversy, this judgment and the petition has served one cause -- it has reminded this country that there is a severe drought.
Over 50 crore (500 million) Indians are currently suffering from a livelihood crisis, something to which the whole country had shut its eyes for the past six months.
The drought began in October 2015. We conducted our first Samvedna Yatra on October 2 and the whole country was ignoring the situation. If this IPL controversy wakes the country up to this reality, I cannot complain.
Yadav says the solutions to the water problem are all there in government documents:
Some of the most effective and routine things they should have done, about which everyone knows, is to repair canals, hand pumps and water supply channels and identify affected areas. These are routine matters about which every bureaucrat knows.
All this has been written in a Government of India document, Manual for Drought Management. It spells out the steps that need to be taken to avoid this (water crisis).
But, politically, a more difficult thing which they needed to do was to disallow growing sugarcane in drought-stricken areas. Sugarcane is one of the most water-guzzling crops. We gave this suggestion also.
Second, opening of new sugarcane and liquor factories could have been postponed by six months. Our third suggestion was to regulate water bottling plants, which take away some of the best potable water.
Moreover, diverting water for industrial purposes can't be a priority at a time when you have such a serious water crisis. We had suggested regulating this.


Anonymous said...

Brilliant article, many thanks!


Great post, This shifting of IPL made affected people think that somebody also think about us which will generate a positive outlook of people towards govt.