The Uttar Pradesh government has announced plans to revive the dying river Hindon and its tributaries, the Krishni and Kali, following an HT series highlighting their decline because of toxic effluents dumped by city municipalities and industries.
Deepak Singhal, the state’s principal secretary for irrigation and water resources, said plans to rejuvenate the river that was once the lifeline of the region included measures such as building checkdams for storage of water to ensure continuous flow in the river system.
“For the past couple of months, there have been efforts on our part to prepare a vision document for revival of rivers in Uttar Pradesh. Our engineers took stock of river revival measures undertaken in countries like China, South Korea and Austria,” Singhal said.
“We intend to divert sewerage away from the river (Hindon). Further, the treated water can be largely used for irrigation purposes. We also plan to revive water bodies and infuse aquatic life.”
Singhal said a comprehensive survey of the river area was underway and the government would use surveillance drones to physically examine the region.
The state government plans to step up its drive in response to HT’s five-part series, The Hindon Horror, highlighting the river’s pollution levels and other problems such as spread of disease, water contamination and loss of water flow.
The Hindon and its two tributaries were once the principal source of water for nearby towns and villages but are heavily polluted now, adding tonnes of sewage to the already-choked Yamuna.
They flow from Saharanpur through the UP towns of Muzaffarpur and Baghpat, crossing six districts in the state as they snake their way to the national capital region, meeting the Yamuna at Danakur in the NCR.
Millions of people in the Capital who are dependent on the river for their survival now find themselves struggling for even a clean source of drinking water.