The Indore district administration is racing against time to divert the Khan River that flows into the Kshipra River before Simhastha fair begins on April 22.
Last year, environmentalists found presence of fecal matter in the water of Kshipra River and since then the state government is busy cleaning the holy river.
All India Akhara Parishad chief Mahant Narendra Giri told Hindustan Times over phone that Hindu holy men and pilgrims who take a dip in the river, in the past expressed concern about the cleanliness of river water, but are happy to see the level of the river increase in the past weeks.
Giri, however, doubts that authorities will be able to divert the water of the Khan River before the start of Simhastha.
Officials racing against time to divert Khan River
The district administration has been racing against time to divert Khan River, which flows from the industrial belt of Indore and joins Kshipra at Trivenighat.
The 195km-long Kshipra River originates from Kakri Badi, a hill in the Vindhya Range, and flows north across the Malwa Plateau to join the Chambal River.
“We stopped the flow of the nullahs that drain into Kshipra”
Avinash Lavania, Simhastha Mela officer and Ujjain municipal commissioner, said efforts are being made to divert the river by end of March or the first week of April. “We stopped the flow of the nullahs that drain into the Kshipra and ozonised the water at five points along the river,” he said.
“This will kill the bacteria and other microorganisms in the water and trial runs to release of Narmada water are being conducted, which will increase the water level in Kshipra.”
Dr Manish Sharma, a microbiologist, who studied the water quality of the Kshipra last year, said the water contained high fecal coliform released from city sewage.
Sharma along with Prof DM Kumawat, an environmentalist at Vikram University in Ujjain, published a research paper on the quality of the Kshipra at Ujjain, said they took samples from four main ghats of Ujjain and found high content of fecal coliform in the water.
“From the study and observations, we came to the conclusion that Kshipra River has been highly polluted due to industrial effluents from Khan river that merges with Kshipra at Trivenighat and direct flow of domestic sewage from the city,” he said.
”Toxic effluents from Indore’s industrial belt pour into river”
Kumawat said Ujjain has seen a rapid growth in population, developmental activities, including housing and urbanization along with agricultural growth and industrial growth in the surrounding areas. “These factors have led to deterioration of water quality of the Kshipra and toxic effluents from the industrial belt of Indore pour into the river, he said.
“I hope the government diverts the Khan River at the earliest.”