Interlinking of rivers mooted by former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to meet water need and safeguard rivers from drying along with checking of vast damages caused by floods every year today finds some support in civil society with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu aggressively advocating interlinking of rivers but said revival of rivers could be the permanent solution. He said he was instrumental for linking of rivers in the country and prevailed upon (then Prime Minister) Vajpayee. Chandrababu has the credit for “linking” of rivers Godavari and Krishna in Andhra Pradesh. In this country, there are floods and there is drought. So, linking of rivers surely would bring some relief for survival or else some areas will have problems. As much as 85 per cent of water from major rivers in the country is drained out into the sea and another seven per cent from medium rivers. The Bay of Bengal receives 77 per cent of river water and Arabian Sea 33 per cent. Water depleted by 60 per cent in rivers Krishna and Narmada, 40 per cent in Cauvery and Ganga. Following the same line of thinking we have Isha Foundation’s Jaggi Vasudev who is spearheading a countrywide ‘the Rally for Rivers’ campaign. Jaggi Vasudev stressed the need for an “enforceable and implementable law” to revive dying rivers in the country. This should be the policy…an economic plan for the well-being of the society and the farmers. It should be an economic policy with significant ecological impact, he said. His foundation was drafting such a policy to be presented to the Centre and the states. River is a national treasure. We must learn to treat it like that and not as a private property. In the last 7-8 years, depletion of rivers has become so steep that many have already become seasonal rivers from being perennial ones. This is the moment for us…either we do the right things or just sit by and watch disasters unfold, the Sadguru warned.
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