Rajya Sabha member Anil Madhav Dave said on Friday illegal mining was a major concern as it posed severe threat to existence of rivers in the country apart from other significant factors.
However, he said, it would be wrong to draw any political inference from his statement. This problem exists in almost every state of the country. In reply to a related question, he said illegal mining is being carried out on the banks of Narmada river as well.
Dave, while interacting with journalists said, the third International River Festival under the banner of Narmada Samagra would see discussions and planson conservation of all the rivers in the country, including the Ganga, the Yamuna and Narmada. The 3-day festival would be organised at Bandrabhan in Hoshangabad from February 8 to 10.
Dave, who happens to be Narmada Samgra secretary, said unlike the first two conclavesin 2008 and 2010- which had its major focus on Narmada in Madhya Pradesh, the third one would look into entire river network in the country and try to prepare a draft on how to conserve rivers.
He said a three-dimensional discussion would be held on the river conservation, policy, rules and on the leadership.
He said over 1,000 experts, including those who are working on various rivers and whose lives are dependent on the rivers like fishermen and boatmen, would take part in the festival. Their ideas would be considered to reach a conclusion on what action plan to be evolved for conservation of rivers. The participants would include foreign delegates too, added Dave.