Reviving a Long lost River
River Saraswati was lauded as a main river in the Rig Veda. It mentions the river’s endless size and its purity. But, in modern India, the river only exists in a place between myth and reality. The Saraswati River is alluded as the largest river in ancient India. Land studies say that the river went dry before 1,500 BC, leading to the end of Harappan Civilization. Although many geologists have proved its existence, lot of arguments are going on over the years. The Indian government, however, haven’t given up on the once dried river.
Few days back in the Parliament, Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti announced about setting up a Saraswati Research Institute for ‘reviving the Saraswati River’. Minister Uma Bharti said that there are lots of scientific evidences to suggest that the river flowed through north eastern parts of India around 5000 to 6000 years ago. She urged the parliament members to share any information with her Ministry so that the groundwater resources could be used.
Skeptics and experts were quick to react on this matter as they said that the river’s revival is an impossible task. A century of studies made on the rivers of northern India could prove that there might have been a Saraswati in some ancient past. But, reviving such a river by bringing its underground water to surface looks not only impossible; it is a little preposterous. Ganges is heavily polluted and many rivers throughout India are slowly drying up. The scheme to join all Indian rivers might take decades to finish, but at least it’s right path for revival, one that might solve (to an extent) India’s burgeoning water disputes. However, Uma Bharti’s wild goose chase is only a waste of people and government’s money and time.
Experts within the last three or four decades have established the traces of the Himalayan-born river running through north India, which disappeared somewhere in what is now the sandy Jaiselmer terrain. Although there isn’t any conclusive proof, the river can be called as a symbol of ancient India’s cultural heritage. Nonetheless, pouring lots of money on no-value project isn’t a worthy option, while few million dollars are enough to clean and revive India’s dirtiest rivers. India has adequate rainfall to solve all the inter-state water-related conflicts. Perfect inter-basin transfers and good water management methods might relieve the water-scarcity on certain drought-hit. Reviving India’s glorified past isn’t really bad, but it’s also important to save and use the ample resource we currently have.