The BJP government in Haryana may not be able to see the modern-day avatar of the mythical Saraswati river during its tenure, going by the slow pace of work on the much-hyped project.
Apart from a 10-ft well filled with water in Munglawali village in Yamunanagar district and a few stretches marked by the revenue department in some other villages, nothing much has been done on the ground for the revival of the 4000-year-old river and the government is facing several hurdles in the project.
Meanwhile, Haryana Saraswati Heritage Development Board (HSHDB) deputy chairman Prashant Bhardwaj has claimed that Australia and Japan have shown interest in the rejuvenation project and talks were on with these countries regarding research on subjects related to the project.
The state government had made a blue print to flow water in Saraswati river in several districts in the state and even announced multi-crore projects over the river, including a dam at Rampura village of Yamunanagar and a 300acre artificial lake at Chhalaur village in the district.
But as of now, there is no progress in this regard and the government is even facing problem in getting the required land in five villages of the district, where Saraswati river is missing in the revenue record.
Officials associated with the project said the task was tough and the government needed to put in more efforts if it was really serious to rejuvenate the river during its tenure
The government has released some water to artificially recharge a stretch of the river from Uncha Chandana village, but the real challenge is to dig up about 40-km long canal from Adi-Badri to Uncha Chandana.
Regarding the reasons for delay in the project, Yamunanagar district development and panchayat officer (DDPO) Gagandeep Singh said, “Work is already going on. Several departments, including irrigation, revenue and tourism, are working on the project.”
Asked whether the land has been acquired to complete the stretch, he said, “The revenue department has completed the markings on the land. Now, the government will take further steps.”
However, officials are not sure when the project will be completed or whether the present BJP government will be able to finish it during its tenure.
“Completion of the entire project in the next three years is a difficult task, but the work is going on,” said an official working on the project.
However despite the slow work, the religious belief of the people in the area keeps their hopes with regard to the project alive. “Saraswati to ek din bahegi aur hamein is sarkar par poora bharosa hai (The Sarawati river will flow one day and we have total faith in the government),” says Sahi Ram, a resident of Munglawali village, who installed a temporary shelter house near the 10-ft deep well in the village.