“Lifeless Gomti may revive soon” by Times of India
Times of India
Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Lucknow: It seems that things are becoming favourable for the ailing Gomti. The UP chief secretary had directed the irrigation department to restore the flow in the river and remove encroachment from its banks right from Pilibhit to Ghazipur. In a high level meeting held recently, the government with irrigation department has prepared an action plan for the revival of the river.
To begin with, its floodplain will be demarcated. The river which has been rendered lifeless due to rampant encroachment will be cleared of the encroachers. The squatters will be relocated by district administration.
The Gomti study group which undertook ‘Gomti yatra’ had highlighted the condition of the river.
“It should be declared as state river as it originates in UP and merges with the Ganga. There is no inter-state conflict with regard to declaring it the one,” said Venkatesh Dutta, convener, Gomti Study Group.
The fact that the Gomti is not even flowing on a ecological level had caught the concern of the government.
The river is reeling under the bane of pollution and has its flow reduced to one-third. To mark its revival, there is a need to declare the origin as well as confluence of all 23 tributaries as “eco-fragile areas”. There is also a need to freeze its land-use by buffering and ensure no violation of the land-use change.
The study stated that there is heavy dependence on groundwater and water levels are falling rapidly. Insufficient management of irrigation water with intensive usage and un-sustainable cropping pattern is leading to rapid decline of groundwater in Gomti basin.
The irrigation department might go for water augmentation in the upper segment and the Ghagra in the lower segment.
The industries situated along the banks will be monitored strictly and the polluting ones will be shut down.
Besides, mapping of the flood plain in the entire segment with the help of satellite picture, changes occurred in the past, will be studied through old satellite pictures and survey of India maps.
De-silting of the river will be taken up to remove the silt in the bed and improve the flow.
Administration has started talking to the farmers in Pilibhit and Shajahanpur. Check-dams will be constructed in the upper reaches of the tributaries to ensure water gets recharged and ultimately flows into the river.