Pawar blames urbanisation, unplanned water use for drought

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar on Friday blamed rapid urbanisation and unplanned water use for drought in various parts of the state. Pawar, speaking at the inauguration of a series of infrastructure projects by the Pimpri Chinchwad New Town Development Authority (PCNTDA), found support from Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan who called for scientific planning for water use in the state.

"Maharashtra is facing one of the worst droughts in its history. Till the time we do not plan our water usage, droughts will be a permanent fixture. We need to change the mindset of people about water usage, which is the job of elected representatives of the state," said Pawar.

He added that the country has surplus foodgrains but water scarcity is a serious issue. "The Chief Minister had suggested that we mobilise railways to supply water and I am thinking about it. However, proper planning is the need of the hour for the state," he said.

Speaking at the inauguration of the National Science Center in Pimpri Chinchwad, Chavan called for scientific planning for water use. "The need of the hour is to ensure that we measure and use water with caution. Also, scientific research should be involved in treating sewage water," he said.

All praise for the science center, Chavan said it will allow growth of proper scientific temper in the country. "Although we have great potential in terms of human resources, we fall short in implementation. We need to invest more in the field so that India becomes a scientific superpower soon," he said.

Union Minister for Culture Chandresh Kumari Katoch called for setting up more such centers in the country.

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