Namami Gange celebrates World River’s Day by launching a series on exemplary work done by districts
This year’s World River’s Day theme was “Day of action for rivers."
On the occasion of World River’s Day, celebrated on last Sunday of September, Namami Gange mission launched a series on exemplary work done by districts on rejuvenation of small water bodies. This year’s World River’s Day theme was “Day of action for rivers” and quoting that Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, NMCG set the objective that action is needed now to rejuvenate and conserve smaller water bodies. He said, “If we see the map of all smaller rivers, it looks like a network of arteries and veins. Hence, for the overall health of ecology, it is extremely important to revive smaller rivers.” He also added that rivers are not only water but a complete system which includes biodiversity, sediments and spiritual & cultural aspects.
Manu Bhatnagar, Principle Director of INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) also through illustrations explained that smaller water bodies are connected to main river and conserving them is equally important. “River rejuvenation can’t be done in isolation, only by looking at the area of their flow. It is important to have entire basin management plan” he added. He explained very important concepts of ecosystem services provided by rivers and water budget. ‘Guide to Preparing River Basin Management Plans for Medium and Minor Rivers’, a well-researched book by INTACH was launch by Jal Shakti Minister, Shri Gajendra Singh Shekhawat for World river’s day.
Six district presented case studies on smaller river rejuvenation in this first edition of small river rejuvenation series by Namami Gange. Mangesh Ghildiya, DM, Tehri Garhwal, UK shared that a catchment area of 16,481 Hectares has been identified and 9 micro watersheds have been surveyed for treatment to rejuvenate Heval river, a important tributary of Ganga. Being a hilly region soil erosion has been a major challenge and extensive works has been taken up to conserve soil and moisture. Shri Manvendra Singh, DM, Farrukhabad, UP and Chandra Prakash Singh, DM, Kasganj, UP presented the extra ordinary work done to revive Budhi Ganga which flows from both the districts. Chandra Prakash Singh has 1984 map as his reference point and has committed to get the river flowing, from the locations where it is extinct. He has also successfully removed illegal encroachment in Gokhur and Dariyavganj lake. Whereas, in Farrukhabad 36.78km stretch of Budhi Ganga has been identified for excavation of which 18km is already completed on 31st march 2020. Also, Kuthla lake, an important lake between Ganga and Ram Ganga in is going to be developed as an ecological park.
Suresh Babu, Director River basin and Water Policy, WWF India appreciated both the district for the work done on Budhi Ganga and said, “A collaborative action is needed for reviving Budhi Ganga which flows from four districts.”
Umesh Mishra, DM, Amroha, UP spoke about Ban River which used to flow in rainy season till 2000 but was lost due to illegal occupation and cultivation in catchment area. In April 2019, Ban river renovation committee was formed under chairmanship of the DM for the mutual coordination of all the departments. In February 2020, the river flow area was completely made free from encroachments and the river was rejuvenated. In Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh, 24 km long Karanavati river was rejuvenated mainly by massive plantation drive along the river sides shared Shri Sushil Kumar Patel, District Magistrate. 126 ponds which were invisible because of Hyacinth (an aquatic weed) growth were revived by removing the weeds. Presentation on rejuvenation of Narayani river was presented by Smt. Udita Singh, DM Vaishali, Bihar.
A short-film on the plantation of Rudraksh saplings by HCL was shown at the event. HCL has planted 3500 saplings of Rudraksh this year and is committed to 3000 more next year. They will plant 1000 saplings of other associated species.
The event concluded with Rozy Agarwal, Executive Director (Finance), NMCG appreciating the exemplary work done by all the DMs and promising to provide all possible support in small water bodies rejuvenation. Director General, Rajiv Ranjan Mishra added that a special technical session with help of WWF will be arranged for training of District Ganga Committees in integration of wetland, ponds and forestation with river rejuvenation. Also, INTACH, WWF and Wildlife Institute of India would help in giving specific expert advice to districts.
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