Indus re-enters India

Satellite images show the river changed course
Last Updated 14 November 2011, 19:55 IST

If the latest satellite images are to be believed, the development will benefit the Bhal region adjoining Ahmedabad district and the water-starved Kutch region.

Rohan Thakkar, a research student analysing the impact of climate change on water bodies of Gujarat, is the first to notice the phenomenon.

“We do have evidence that there were habitations in the Rann of Kutch and the Indus flowed in this area,  but it majorly shifted its course westwards after the great earthquake in 1819," Thakkar said and attributed the siltation in the river basin to the change.

Thakkar has been working on this research project for the past three years. The project had demonstrated that the river was dying due to siltation.

 According to Y T Jasrai, Thakkar’s guide and the coordinator of the programme, the ground truthing of the research is still to be done.

“The satellite images are definitely a reason to believe that the ancient river is changing its direction towards India, more specifically to Gujarat,” he said.

“The quality of the water in Nal Sarovar lake gives us a reason to come to a conclusion about the shifting of the river’s direction towards India which generally coincides with monsoon,” Jasrai said.

Water Resource Minister Nitin Patel said they have been informed about the satellite images.

“We have instructed our officials to carry out a research on this and find out the benefits that will come with it. Once the research is completed by the department, ground truthing of water, especially at these two places, will be conducted,” said Patel.

Dr Y S Ravat, Director of the Archaeology Department, is of the opinion that a change of the course of rivers is possible and it has happened in the past also.  He pointed out that there is a rise in rainfall in Gujarat in the recent years. If the present trend continues, there could be further tectonic movements which will change the course of the river. 

In the past after the 1819 quake, the Allahbund came up in the northwest of Bhuj as a natural bund and stopped the flow of water into the Great Rann of Kutch, resulting in the gradual  dry up of the area. The river also changed its course, he added.

(Published 14 November 2011, 19:55 IST)

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