Kerala: BJP to dig 1 lakh rainpits to fight drought

State president Kummanam to cash in on his green image.

Thiruvananthapuram: The BJP is taking to environmental issues keeping aside politics for a while to fight the looming drought in the state. State president Kummanam Rajasekharan, who has allegedly failed to rise up to the expectations of the cadres on political issues, will lead a campaign to dig 100,000 rain pits. The central leadership has given Mr Kummanam, an active environmentalist, a free hand to go ahead with his favourite programmes, including land reforms, after the four-day Charalkunnu camp held last month.

“Mr Kummanam has come up with several programmes like Jala Swaraj to implement the traditional systems of water harvesting to meet the drought. The dried-up and unused or abandoned wells and ponds would be revived,” said a senior BJP leader. Trees will be planted across the state to prepare for the summer seasons ahead. The BJP will undertake four regional marches from January 8 to 12 to educate the masses on the benefits of demonetisation and the LDF government’s failure to distribute ration despite the central government allotting the required quota. It hopes to the grab the Opposition space from the Congress which is entangled in its internal squabbles.

“We have evolved into the key Opposition in the state though we have only one MLA,” said the leader. The BJP will hold a three-day state council meeting from January 16 to 18 to plan its second stage of agitation against the LDF government’s policies.

Jala Swaraj calls for conservation:

Kerala should be ready to bring in law to rejuvenate its rivers, Magsaysay awardee ‘the waterman’ Dr B. Rajendra Singh feels. “The Center already has a law for the rejuvenation of rivers at the national level, and the state should also choose the path,” he said inaugurating the ‘Jala Swaraj’ programme initiated by the BJP to protect drinking water sources on the banks of Sasthamkotta Lake here on Monday.

“Jala Swaraj will lead to a new political culture. It should be made into people’s movement transcending all sorts of discriminations. No other state has 44 rivers. Kerala has opened its path to drought by polluting and encroaching public assets including lakes and forestland,” he said. Explaining the programmes under Jala Swaraj, BJP state president Kummanam Rajasekharan said they would plant 20 lakh fruit tree saplings on Thursday, the World Environmental day.

“The main programme in the coming days would be collecting a maximum number of seedlings to be ready for distribution to the public. The BJP will take initiatives to spread public awareness on environment protection. Jala Swaraj urges the public to conserve each drop of rainwater on land and to welcome the rains with much rejoicing,” he said. Eminent sculptor Kanayi Kunhiraman who presided over the function said a portion of money spent to find the presence of water on other planets should be kept aside to protect pond in our courtyard.
‘Tree Man’ Swami Samvidhaananda of Haridwar, Plachimada protest leader Vilayodi Venugopalan, filmmaker Shaji N. Karun, BJP leaders P.K. Krishnadas and N.N. Radhakrishnan were also present. Meanwhile, Union minister Narendra Singh Tomar, who was scheduled to inaugurate, was conspicuous by his absence.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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