Excessive rain revives UP’s dying rivers
The incessant rainfall across the state has infused life into the dying rivers and reduced the pollution level as well, bringing a big relief for the Irrigation department which was working on a plan for their revival.
These included the Sai, Chandrawal, Aami, Varuna, Hindon, Suheli, Betwa, Ken, Gomti and the Kuwano, which are overflowing with water posing threat to the towns and villages located near them.
Last year the officers of the state Irrigation department held a series of meetings with the officers of the department of Water Resources and River Development in Delhi to discuss the launch of the project for the revival of the dying rivers in the state.
The Union government assured the state government that project will be launched for the revival of the dying rivers. Along with cleaning the silt and sewage that had deposited on the bed of the rivers, the government planned to remove encroachments, construct drains to divert the effluent flowing into them and construct check dams to store rain water during the monsoon, said an Irrigation department officer.
The officers said the central government officers were told that they had diverted canal water to revive the Gomti, Sai and the Aami. But the scheme had to be called off following protest by the farmers, who alleged that the water used for irrigation purpose was being wasted by diverting it into the rivers.
In Pilibhit, Hardoi, Lakhimpur Kheri, Unnao and Lucknow, the farmers had encroached in the river basin area and started planting paddy. Conservationists, including Rajindra Singh wellknown as waterman, had demanded removal of the encroachments to protect the rivers.
During summer when water crisis gripped Bundelkhand region, the Banda district administration deployed police force near the embankment of the Ken and organized regular patrolling along it to stop the farmers from diverting the water to their field.
Come September, the heavy rainfall in the river basin area has led to significant rise in the water level of the rivers, which looked more like nullahs (drain).
In Varanasi, the Varuna had flooded the Sarnath area, Chandrawal the villages in Mahoba and Banda districts and Aami inundated agriculture land in Siddharthanagar and Sant Kabir Nagar districts.
An Irrigation department officer said on Monday that the Kuwano was flowing above 0.250 metres of the danger level near Chandradeep ghat in Gonda district, while the Gomti was flowing 1 metre below danger mark in Sultanpur and Jaunpur districts. The Ken was flowing 4 metres below danger level in Banda, the Betwa 6 metres below danger level in Hamirpur, while the Sai was flowing 0.5 metre below danger mark in Rae Bareli district.
He said the Yamuna was flowing 1 metre below danger level in Mathura and the Kunhara 4 metres below danger level in Siddharth Nagar district.
Speaking on the happy turnaround, environmentalist SK Singh said mother nature had infused life back into the rivers that were dying due to human activities. “Now the villagers can use the water for irrigation and live stocks. Now the state government should check pollution and remove the encroachments,” he said.