With a view to promoting religious and heritage tourism in the Kurukshetra circuit, the Haryana government has planned to create a new water channel on the dry bed considered to be natural path of the ancient inactive Saraswati river.
At a public rally here on Monday, chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar had announced to form Adi Badri Heritage Board to give a boost to the project.
Located about 40 km from here near Bilaspur subdivision, Adi Badri is considered to be the site where the Saraswati river was believed to have entered the plain regions after flowing in the Himalayas.
Geologists believe that the river perished about 9,000 years ago due to various natural reasons, but the scientific studies claim a paleo channel or remnant of an inactive river or a stream channel on the modern identified river route.
Yamunanagar deputy commissioner SS Phulia told Hindustan Times on Tuesday that land revenue records prepared during British-era clearly demarcated the river course of the Saraswati.
"Satellite imageries also confirm that the ancient river course passes through 42 villages of Yamunanagar before entering the adjoining Kurukshetra district. After removing illegal encroachments from the identified riverbed, it is planned that the water channel would flow up to the holy town of Pehowa in Kurukshetra," said Phulia.
It is proposed that water from the seasonal Som rivulet and few other streams originating from adjoining hills of Himachal Pradesh would be diverted to feed proposed Saraswati channel in Yamunanagar district.
"A few tubewells may also be set up to feed the proposed water body. Besides boosting tourism, the water channel would help in recharging the underground water table of the region," said the DC.
He said that diverting seasonal rivulets would also help in combating problem of flooding during the rainy season.
'HERITAGE BOARD NOT NOTIFIED'
DC Phulia said that the administration was yet to receive details of the Adi Badri Heritage Board and its members.
However, the administration had sent the project details to the state government where various departments, including forest, irrigation and revenue, would work together for its execution.
For the past more than a decade, former Haryana Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief and an industrialist from Yamunanagar Darshan Lal Jain has been instrumental in pursuing the case to revive Saraswati.
The previous Congress government had okayed the project of digging a water body from Adi Badri to Pehowa. While a part of the Saraswati channel was dug in Kurukshetra only, it did not get water feeding.
'NOT A MYTHICAL RIVER'
Kurukshetra University (KU) geology department chairman, AR Chaudhri said that several scientific evidences confirm that Saraswati used to flow from Himalayas and crossed through modern day Haryana areas of Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra, Jind, Sirsa and other areas.
He said that sedimentary samples from Bhor Saidan in Kurukshetra and other sites along the Sarwasati were identical with those found in the upper Himalayas.
Chaudhari, who had worked with the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) in 2006 to explore water possibility along ancient Saraswati river course, said that the state government should also work to exploit deeper aquifers.
"Under the Project Saraswati, the ONGC in 2006 had successfully drilled India's deepest fresh-water well at a depth of about 500m below the ground-level near Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. Explorations should also be started for similar possibilities in Haryana, which is facing a severe problem due to the excessive utilisation of underground water.