The Haryana government on Friday recreated the Saraswati by pumping 100 cusecs of water from tubewells into a dug-up channel that is now deemed to be route of the “lost” river.
The water was released from Uncha Chandna village in Yamunanagar. As per officials, it is expected that the water will flow up to Kurukshetra covering a distance of around 40 km.
The Haryana government had announced its decision to revive the lost river by pumping water into it through tubewells. Saraswati Heritage Development Board (SHDB) in its meetings had set a deadline for July 30 to clean up the route of the river in Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra and Kaithal and release the water. A trial run was done on July 30.
Anil Kumar Gupta, Engineer-in-Chief, Haryana Irrigation Department, said, “We have released water into the river at Uncha Chandna on Thursday. Initially, 100 cusecs of water has been released. It is likely to go up to Kurukshetra. It is yet to be seen how much further the water goes. Once we see that there are no obstructions in the flow of water then another 100 cusecs will be released. This could be done in another fortnight.”
In order to ensure that the river flows perennially, it is proposed to construct three dams on the Shivaliks. One will be at Adi Badri, another at Lohgarh and the third at Haripur. The points have been identified. In the future, water will be stopped at these dams to ensure continuous flow of Saraswati. After water was found while digging the dry river bed at Yamunanagar that the Haryana government had made claims of having found the lost river.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar recently said, “We have never claimed that Saraswati is flowing over the ground. Saraswati’s undercurrents are present till date. But where are the currents and how deep this cannot be calculated today. As per the revenue records, around 150 km stretch of land is such where Saraswati used to flow.”
He had further said that if we dig the land and there is no natural flow of water, we can divert water from another river to it. It is not the first time that interconnection of rivers is being done. It has happened at many places in the country. Beas and Sutlej have been connected. In the same manner, if water from Yamuna is diverted into the Saraswati and put to any use, whether irrigation or for religious sentiments, there should be no objection, Khattar added.
The Haryana government plans to develop a place of tourist attraction at Adi Badri which is the starting point of Saraswati. Along with religious tourism, recreational tourism will also be promoted. Further, the water from Som river that causes flooding during monsoons could be shifted to the route of the Saraswati. During a meeting held at the Centre recently, it was proposed that Kurukshetra University could be made the nodal agency for all the research that is taking place about Saraswati river in institutes across the country.