Search for Saraswati river: No sign of water, discussion on ‘revival options’ soon

In a recent interview to The Indian Express, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said the river would not be discovered in its original form.

Written by Khushboo Sandhu | Chandigarh | Updated: October 23, 2015 9:51 am

WITH THE dig for the mythical Saraswati river in Yamunanagar district yet to find any water, the Saraswati Development Board and WAPCOS, a public sector enterprise under the aegis of Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, are set to hold discussions soon on the possibility of channelising water from other sources to the believed path of the river.

WAPCOS was entrusted by the Haryana government to conduct a survey and prepare a detailed project report on revival of the river. The report is being readied. According to WAPCOS, 70,000 cusecs of water collects in the catchment area of the Saraswati River during the monsoon. This water is likely to be channelised in a manner that it flows in what is believed to be the path of the river throughout the year.

In a recent interview to The Indian Express, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar had said the river would not be discovered in its original form. “At least a symbolic or even artificial (one) will maintain our social faith. We will carry out digging and if we manage to flow some water into it, it can be seen as a pilgrimage spot by the people,” he said.

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Haryana Irrigation Minister O P Dhankar said, “The meeting of the Saraswati Heritage Development Board and WAPCOS is expected to be held in a week’s time. There are several possibilities being explored on what can be done at the site for revival of the river. A discussion on these will be held during the meeting.”

Dhankar said among the proposals being looked into is the construction of a dam. The water that collects in the catchment area of Saraswati river during the monsoon can be channelised in such a manner that flow of water is there throughout the year. It can be collected at the dam and released as per requirement, he said.

Among the other possibilities that could be looked into was utilising the water that will be collected for irrigation
of fields.

The digging work on a seven kilometre stretch which is believed to be the course of the river was undertaken by the Yamunanagar administration under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme. The work was undertaken from Adi Badri to Uncha Chandna where a reservoir is proposed to be built. Nearly 500 workers were involved in the process.

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