Palampur: Himachal Pradesh Irrigation minister Vidya Stokes expressed concern over climate change and stressed for the comprehensive planning to ensure conservation of ground water and increase in food production.

Stokes, while inaugurating a four-day Biennial conference of chief scientists of All India Coordinated Research Project on Water Management organised by CSK Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University Palampur in collaboration with the Directorate of Water management (ICAR), Bhubaneswar, said that the water utilisation and its conservation is vital in the changing environmental scenario.

Minister said depleting ground water level was a great concern and asked scientists to come out with recommendations to combat it.

Dr KK Katoch, Vice-Chancellor, apprised ministers and other scientists about the research initiative by the university in the field of water utilisation.

Dr Ashwani Kumar, Director, Directorate of Water Management, Bhubaneswar, Dr SP Sharma, Director, Research, Dr VK Suri, Chief Scientist, and Dr SP Dixit, Head, Soil Science Department, also expressed their views in the conference.