The Haryana government is set to make the “lost” river Saraswati flow by the end of this month, with preparations underway to release water into what is believed to be the route of the river.
As per a proposal discussed by the Saraswati Heritage Development Board (SHDB), water from Uncha Chandana village would be discharged on July 30 through the Dadupur feeder into the route, where cleaning work is currently going on.
The route covers Yamunanagar, Kurukshetra and Kaithal districts.
The board believes the monsoon should keep the river flowing for now. In the long run, the plan is to construct a dam at Adi Badri, considered the origin of the Vedic era river.
Speaking to The Indian Express, SHDB deputy chairman Prashant Bhardwaj said, “We are working on a plan to release water into Saraswati river through the Dadupur feeder. The modalities are being worked out. It is a fact that Saraswati flowed up to Rajasthan. Even ISRO has acknowledged it.”
He said 69 institutes are involved in the project to revive the river, and that talks are on to make a consortium with the Indian Institute of Technology. Six borewells will be made in Yamunanagar and two at Adi Badri and Mugalwali, he said.
Apart from catering to “religious tourists”, the proposal involves developing a recreational water park, a botanical garden and a zoo at Adi Badri.
It is after water was found while digging along the dry river bed at Yamunanagar that the Haryana government found reason to cheer. The discovery of some artefacts strengthened the claims of the government that an ancient civilisation used to exist along the river.
Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has said that the project to unearth the Saraswati river was a mission “to keep alive the soul of a community”, even if it meant creating a symbolic or artificial water body.
The Centre has set up a panel under former Kumaon University vice-chancellor Prof K S Valdiya to verify Haryana’s claims of discovery of the river.
In 2002, too, the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government had constituted a panel to find the river. But after the UPA government came to power two years later, the project was scrapped.