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“Better to treat water than rely on fresh water”

Staff Reporter

Indo-German workshop inaugurated

— Photo: S.R.Raghunathan

Pressing issue: German Consul General in Chennai Roland Friedrich Hermann in discussion with Anna University Vice-Chancellor P.Mannar Jawahar at a seminar on water management in Chennai on Tuesday.

CHENNAI: The rapid pace at which urban development is taking place necessitates the need for more emphasis on water treatment than an increase in the dependence on fresh water supplies, according to P. Mannar Jawahar, Vice-Chancellor of Anna University.

Speaking at the inauguration of a two-day Indo-German workshop to discuss solutions to improve design, operation, and maintenance of water supply and sewerage, he said that “top priority was to ensure healthy living.” The meeting, on Tuesday at the Centre for Environmental Studies of the University, provided a platform for deliberations on water and related issued among the experts from India and Germany.

According to M. Sankaranarayanan, Deputy Adviser, Central Public Health and Environmental Engineering Organisation, 286.12 million people are concentrated in 5,161 urban towns. Mr. Jawahar said that only 50 per cent of them have been provided with reasonably hygienic sewerage facilities.

German Consul-General in Chennai Roland Friedrich Hermann said waste water management was not the most attractive topic to discuss, but it remained a necessity.

However, he commended India for having awareness and recognising the scarcity of the “precious resource,” water.

He said Germany was a leader with regard to waste water management. The German government enacted laws to uphold high standards of waste water management before any other country, Mr. Hermann said. “We have always felt in Germany we have special competence in these areas,” he said. Thus Germany could lend a helping hand to India in addressing issues concerning water treatment and waste management.

Coordinator for Indo-German Water Network Ing Martina Scheer also cited Germany’s wastewater management history.

Director of the Centre for Environmental Studies Navaneetha Gopalakrishnan and Managing Director of Tandler.com, Germany, Reinhard Tandler spoke.

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