Yogi Adityanath monitors progress as UP revives 2 dying rivers, 19 left
Two of the rivers, Mandakini (which finds mention in the epic Ramayana) and Tamsa have been rejuvenated and work is on to revive the remaining 19.Updated: Oct 15, 2020, 17:49 IST
The Uttar Pradesh government has embarked upon bringing 21 rivers, considered dead or endangered, back to life.
The plan involves two other aspects. One is that some 12 lakh people, mostly the migrant workers who returned during the lockdown, get employment through this endeavour. The other important aspect is that the revived rivers would be linked to increase irrigation facilities.
Two of the rivers, Mandakini (which finds mention in the epic Ramayana) and Tamsa have been rejuvenated and work is on to revive the remaining 19, including Tedhi, Manorama, Pandu, Varuna, Sasur, Khadedi, Sai, Aril, Morva, Naad, Karnavati, Baan, Sot, Kaali, Poorvi, Daadhi, Eshan, Boodhi Ganga and Gomti, which pass through 39 districts of the state.
For example, Aril passes through Rohilkhand region and Sai through Unnao-Hardoi-Lucknow but over the years these rivers nearly went dead.
Chief minister Yogi Adityanath, the brain behind the plan, is personally monitoring the revival of these rivers.
“Every river or water source has its bio- diversity. It is essential to maintain environmental balance. Besides maintaining water level of the land masses, a river also supports livelihood of people,” the chief minister said in a statement.
“The death of a river deprives us of many such benefits for a healthy and prosperous generation. It is imperative to have rivers flowing naturally along the land masses,” he said.
In March 2017, the chief minister had said revival and linking of the UP rivers was a priority as it would have a positive impact on agriculture.
The state’s rural development department was working in close coordination with the Jal Shakti ministry. A state level committee headed by principal secretary, rural development, has been set up for time bound completion of work on each of the 19 rivers.
The efforts are also aimed at giving employment to migrant workers - 40 lakh of whom returned during the lockdown enforced to contain the spread of coronavirus.
“With the ongoing restoration of rivers more than 12 lakh job opportunities have been created for the local labour force,” said Jal Shakti minister Mahendra Singh.
“They are working wholeheartedly as the rivers are still considered sacred in the rural hinterland; a massive plantation drive is on for protection of the environment and creating more job opportunities,” he said.
In Kanpur, the work is on to revive two rivers Pandu and Eshan. A Chennai-based company has been roped in to clear the Pandu river through bioremediation technology, which involves using living organisms like microbes and bacteria to remove contaminants, pollutants and toxins from water. At the same time, four drains carrying industrial and domestic waste are being tapped.
RK Singh, chief engineer, Kanpur Municipal Corporation, said the company would start treating the water at the origin point from November before it gets into the river. At present 140 MLD of waste was getting into the river from the four drains.