22 Gomti tributaries have almost dried up, no flow left in four: Expert’s report
Twenty-two of the Gomti river’s 26 tributaries have almost dried up and there is no flow left in the remaining four, says a report by an expert, Venkatesh Dutta who is professor of environmental science at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow.
The report, published in the Indian Journal of Ecology, also says the Gomti’s flow is in “danger”.
The river passing through 14 districts of Uttar Pradesh has reached this condition due to excessive use of ground water and less recharge of the underground water table, according to the report.
The Gomti originates in Pilibhit district in western UP and merges with the Ganga near Ghazipur district in eastern Uttar Pradesh.
According to Prof Dutta, underground water and Gomti are complementary to each other.
“During the monsoon, the Gomti river basin recharges underground water table. While, before and after monsoon the underground water table helps the river maintain its flow,” Prof Dutta says.
The report says that in Lucknow the Gomti gets 76% of the water from the underground water table, which is referred to as “base flow index”.
“Underground water table has reached below the riverbed of the Gomti. Now, the problem is that the river is not able to get water from underground water sources,” Prof Dutta explains.
This has led to a reduction in the river’s flow by around 60%, says Prof Dutta.
Underground water table is important for the river’s flow, he adds.
“The diaphragm wall of the Gomti riverfront in Lucknow has also damaged river’s ecosystem,” points out Dutta.
For the revival of Gomti and its tributaries, Prof Dutta says: “There are around 2,000 water bodies in the Gomti river basin expanding from Pilibhit to Ghazipur before it merges in Ganga. All these water bodies must be revived.”
He has also suggested a check on cultivation of Satha dhan, a variant of paddy, which “consumes too much underground water”.
He has advocated complete stoppage of the discharge of industrial waste into the Gomti in Sitapur, Gola Gokaran Nath and in the upstream areas of the river.
In order to prevent encroachment on the banks of the Gomti, he has proposed complete mapping of the river by the land revenue department.
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