Experts flush out India’s ‘sewage’ rivers
Urban India is treating its rivers as a pipeline for water, a dumping ground for all kinds of sewage, industrial effluents and solid waste and, its floodplain and riverbed as land available for encroachment.
This was the gloomy perspective presented by Himanshu Thakkar, a social activist at the South Asian Network on Dams, Rivers and People.
Speaking at the two-day ‘Dialogue on Urban rivers of Maharashtra’ at Yashada on Friday, Thakkar said that India needs a national urban water policy in which the sustainable existence of urban rivers have a key place.
“This dialogue is an important step in that journey,” he said at the conference organised by the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach, Pune Chapter) and the South Asian Network on Dams, Rivers and People.
Inaugurated by noted ecologist Prof. Madhav Gadgil, a number of prominent environmentalists are participating in this conference.
Gadgil, in his inaugural address urged the people to use the internet to empower and bring about a change in the policies to help save the rivers of Maharashtra.
The keynote address was delivered by Manoj Mishra, convenor, Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan. He presented a case study on Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan’s efforts to save Yamuna river.
“The idea of the conference is to initiate a dialogue between various activists, NGOs and like-minded people who believe in saving the rivers,” said Sarang Yadwadkar of Intach, Pune. “The health and future of our country is critically dependent on the health of our rivers. To compromise on our rivers’ health is to endanger our own existence and future,” he added.
Thakkar said most of the urban rivers in Maharashtra are affected by problems like pollution, encroachment, dumping of waste and mining. Urban Industrial effluents and unplanned development and encroachment of the floodplains and the riverbeds are affecting the rivers. “So, we are experiencing floods and flash floods with increased intensity and frequency. This can lead to an increasing possibility of water scarcity, depletion of groundwater levels and drought in spite of rains,” he said.
While Environmentalist Himanshu Kulkarni spoke about the importance of ground water in urban India, D M More, a retired officer from the irrigation department said that the policy making process needs to be reformed, to save rivers.
The conference aims to bring about a framework of a river policy at the state level and formation of a network of individuals and groups who could work for the cause of the rivers. The dialogue hopes to bring out inputs for framework of a River Policy at State Level and formation of a network of individuals and groups towards the cause of our rivers.
With speculation in some quarters about overhaul in Karnataka BJP, including replacement of the Chief Minister, once again coming to the fore, Opposition Congress on Tuesday took a dig at Basavaraj Bommai by calling Bommai a "Puppet CM" even as some ruling party leaders ruled out the possibility of a leadership-change.
Two drug addicts were arrested and four minor boys detained in connection with the killing of a food delivery man in Madhya Pradesh's Indore, police said on Tuesday. The motive of the accused was to rob the food and money from the victim, Sunil Verma (20), was carrying on the July 29 night, a police officer said. The incident had occurred under the limits of Banganga police station.
The Jammu and Kashmir Congress on Tuesday took out 'Azadi Ki Gaurav Padyatra' from Bhour camp to Satwari chowk here with its working president Raman Bhalla reiterating the demand for restoration of statehood to the erstwhile state. The 'Padyatra' was organised as part of the 75th anniversary of India's independence to recollect the sacrifices of martyrs and spread the message of communal harmony, Bhalla, who was leading the foot march, said.
The Karnal police have arrested a drug peddler and recovered 1.10 kg of opium from his possession. The police said that the accused, Kuldeep of Bansa village of the district was arrested from Nissing on Tuesday evening. Sub-inspector Rishi Pal said that they got information about a drug smuggler in the Nissing area. During the raid, the police team recovered 1.10kg of opium from him.
The highly contagious lumpy skin disease (LSD) has now infected thousands of cattle in Haryana. As per the ground reports, in the beginning, the infection was reported in a few foreign breed cows in the Radaur block of Yamunanagar district. But the virus has now been reported in almost all northern districts of the state. The maximum cases are from Yamunanagar, Ambala, Kurukshetra and Sirsa districts.