Central team in Barmer to explore paleochannels of Saraswati | jaipur | Hindustan Times
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Central team in Barmer to explore paleochannels of Saraswati

The Saraswati finds mention in the Rig Veda and other ancient literature. It is believed to have disappeared some 4,000 years ago. Soon after coming to power in May 2014, the NDA government launched efforts to trace the mythical river considered holy by the Hindus.  Haryana and Rajasthan are separately working to trace the river’s existence. 

jaipur Updated: Jun 17, 2017 20:40 IST
Mukesh Mathrani
The two-member team from Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) inspects a borewell at a Barmer village.
The two-member team from Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) inspects a borewell at a Barmer village.(HT Photo)

BARMER: A two-member team from Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) on Friday reached Barmer to explore possible remnants of the mythical Saraswati.

The CGWB members, OP Pooniya and Ramkishan Yadav, visited villages where the river is believed to have once flowed. The team took samples of ground water and gathered information about the depth of ground water available in the region. 

The team was surprised to find groundwater at 100 to 150 m at some villages in remote desert area. The villagers informed them that at some places, old tube wells and traditional water resources were recharged in the past five to ten years.  “It is subject to investigation that how water tables shifted upward automatically and from which water bodies are getting recharge,” Pooniya said. 

The Centre decided to dig wells in these areas following signs of existence of paleochannels of the Saraswati at five districts of western Rajasthan. “The CGWB will dig 22 tube wells in Barmer and Jaisalmer districts to explore paleochannels of the river,” Pooniya said, adding that they would soon submit a report. 

The Saraswati finds mention in the Rig Veda and other ancient literature. It is believed to have disappeared some 4,000 years ago. Soon after coming to power in May 2014, the NDA government launched efforts to trace the mythical river considered holy by the Hindus.  Haryana and Rajasthan are separately working to trace the river’s existence. 

In July 2015, the Vasundhara Raje government constituted the Rajasthan River Basin and Water Resources Planning Authority to study the paleochannels of an inactive river, help revive the Saraswati and look into various issues connected with river basins, including intra-basin river water transfer. The authority is working in coordination with institutions such as ISRO, Central Ground Water Board, State Ground Water Board and National Institute of Hydrology. 

Haryana started excavation in April. It has assigned the Haryana Saraswati Heritage Development Board with the responsibility to do field work. The board will work closely with UNESCO and Archaeological Survey of India among others. 

Barmer MP Sonaram Choudhary had raised the matter in Parliament and demanded to fast-track exploration works. Two weeks ago, Baitu MLA Kailash Choudhary met central ministers in Delhi regarding the exploration work