Sadhguru to meet Yogi today for the river cause: ‘We need a policy aimed at treating rivers as national treasure’
While UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath was discussing Ken-Betwa river inter-linking project with the union water resources ministry in Delhi on Monday, Jaggi Vasudev, 60 of the Isha Foundation and the man behind the ‘Rally for Rivers’ campaign drove into Lucknow to seek Yogi’s support for the ‘river cause’.
Sadhguru - as the river campaigner is known as – has so far driven through nearly 15 states, signing pacts with state governments for providing sustainable modules for saving rivers and getting people to make missed call on 8000980009 as proof of their support.
“We are living here as if we are the last generation. Disasters would happen once the threshold is breached. We need a mandatory enforceable river policy aimed at treating rivers as national treasure,” he told HT ahead of his Tuesday meeting with Yogi Adityanath whose government too is consulting experts on how to revive depleting and vanishing rivers in the state.
He also met governor Ram Naik on Monday, seeking support for the ‘river cause’.
Sadhguru is expecting about 30 crore missed calls, possibly by October 2, which, he hopes would make governments realise that the ‘save rivers campaign’ has popular support too.
The Centre is mediating between UP and MP to clear the roadblock on the ambitious Ken-Betwa river inter-linking project – one from which UP hopes to benefit but has been red-flagged by MP, which has put certain riders before agreeing to the project that runs across the two states.
Sadhguru’s take on river-linking projects is different.
“Connecting rivers is about how to use water. But, for that first there should be water,” he says citing examples of Cauvery, Krishna or Narmada, which he says, have metamorphosed from being perennial rivers to seasonal.
So what is he expecting out of his meeting with Yogi?
“We are looking at signing MoUs with UP on providing sustainable modules for the campaign. We are seeking plantation around river banks. There is a famous saying in Tamil Nadu that Cauvery should come ‘walking’ because if she ‘runs’ there would be disaster. For her to ‘walk’ there must be vegetation all along the banks to hold her and it’s here that green cover plays an important role,” he said.
Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation is also working with experts to evolve a ‘national policy recommendation’ that they plan to hand over to the Centre for a long-term policy initiative.
“I have already met water resources minister Nitin Gadkari. I feel everyone from water resources to environment would have to pitch in. I am hopeful,” he said.
He laughed when asked if the river cause would run into language issues during his meeting with Yogi Adityanath (because he doesn’t know much Hindi). “I will try some Hindi,” he said with a smile.
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