After aggressively advocating interlinking of rivers for years, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today remarked that it was only a “temporary phenomenon”, but revival of rivers was the permanent solution.
“I was instrumental for linking of rivers in the country and prevailed upon (then Prime Minister) Vajpayee. But linking of rivers is only a temporary phenomenon and reviving them is the permanent solution,” Chandrababu said while addressing a Rally for Rivers campaign here today.
Chandrababu said he had to go for interlinking of rivers as he had to do something for immediate solution also.
“Otherwise, we won’t be in power for doing the right things also for a long time,” he added and took credit for “linking” of rivers Godavari and Krishna in Andhra Pradesh.
Explaining his advocacy of interlinking of rivers previously, Chandrababu noted, “In this country, there are floods and there is drought. So, we have to link rivers. Then only we can survive or else some areas will have problems.
“As much as 85 per cent of water from major rivers in the country 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.
These rivers have to be revived,” the Chief Minister pointed out.
He vowed to make AP a model state in revival of rivers and said it would be the first to implement the policy framework proposed by Isha Foundation’s Jaggi Vasudev, who launched 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 rivers.
This is the moment for us…either we do the right things or just sit by and watch disasters unfold,” the Sadguru warned.
‘Water man of India’ Rajendra Singh said clearing rivers and river beds of encroachments, preventing pollution of rivers and allowing their environmental flow were critical to reviving the rivers.
“Our future will be safe when we save the health of our rivers,” he said.
State ministers D U Rao, Kamineni Srinivas, Vijayawada MP Kesineni Srinivas and others attended.