Andhra Pradesh

Don’t link up rivers, instead revive them: Rajendra Singh

Ticklish issue: Rajendra Singh addressing the media in Vijayawada.   | Photo Credit: CH_VIJAYA BHASKAR

Waterman of India and Magsaysay award-winner Rajendra Singh has asked the State government not to spend huge amounts on interlinking of rivers.

“Instead, spend the amounts on cleaning and reviving the rivers and on alternatives such as community-based decentralised water management,” Mr. Singh said while addressing the media here on Thursday.

Mr. Singh said interlinking of rivers would destroy the water bodies. Besides, it would harm the people living on the banks.

“Each river has its unique flora and fauna based on the ecological parameters. These will get destroyed when the rivers are linked and the waters get mixed,” he said.

Similarly, the culture and social richness of the people of the linked up rivers would also be affected, he argued.

“The governments should work not to interlink the rivers, but to link the hearts and minds of the people with the rivers,” he said. Only then would the rivers become healthy. “A river is not like a road. It has its own rights,” he added.

Eight rivers could be rejuvenated in Rajasthan only by linking the hearts and minds of the people with them, Mr. Singh said, referring to the work he had done in his home State.

Along with interlinking, sand mining and over exploitation of waters were killing the rivers, he observed.

“Going by the adage, ‘Yatha raja, tatha praja’, the people are following the leaders, who are for over-exploitation of nature. In ancient times, saints used to interfere to put the leaders and people on the proper path. Ironically, the modern-day saints are joining the leaders without correcting them,” Mr. Singh observed.

River Parliament

He said Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu took an oath in public to protect the rivers. If he did not stop sand mining and encroachment of rivers, a ‘Krishna River Parliament’ would be held in Vijayawada in December to decide an action plan, Mr. Singh said.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 7:59:21 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/dont-link-up-rivers-instead-revive-them-rajendra-singh/article19686663.ece

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