No potable water may be a national crisis, says Premji

BANGALORE: Wipro chairman Azim Premji finds it frightening that water safety, management and recycling are not high-priority areas for the government.

He expressed concern over depletion of the water table and degradation of groundwater during a lecture on “Sustainability and Innovation” at the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) forum on Friday.

“Tap water in our towns is not potable. Even village wells are polluted with effluents/external impurities, and villagers are falling ill. It is going to be a national crisis if the government does not take systematic measures to manage water,” he pointed out.

While political factors have forced the government to focus on the power front and increase electricty generation, water issues are yet to get adequate attention, he felt. The country has a very low, inadequate and semi-inefficient installed base on the power-generation front, similar to the telecom landline scenario before the mobile phone revolution. India’s strides in wireless telephony were triggered by the lack of an installed base in landline networks and long waiting time for connections. In the same line, power-capacity requirement is so huge that it could kick-start the renewable energy industry, which is enjoying perks and incentives from the government, he said.

The IT czar expressed concern over climatic changes and suggested that there be stringent checks on abuse of resources. “The younger generation is increasingly becoming sensitive and responsible in terms of sustainability issues, thanks to societal pressures,” he added.

From TOI

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