Expert advocates revival of Arkavathy river

Efforts, finally, seem to be are on to save and revive the fast-disappearing Arkavathy river, with the Waterman of India, Rajendra Singh, working with the State government in this regard.

The Magsaysay awardee, Singh, was in the City on Friday, to hold talks with the government and chalk out a plan for conservation and revival of the water body. 

“Some years ago, the Karnataka government had asked me to guide them through reviving the Arkavathy river. But nothing materialised out of it. Now, with the change in government, I hope the river would get its life back,” Sing told reporters.

Expressing concern over the Kumudvathi and Arkavathy rivers, Singh said: “I have visited Kumudvathi and Arkavathy basins many times. The situation is very bad, thanks to mining, deforestation and changes in the agricultural pattern that have damaged the rivers. The soil is degraded, as a result, there is considerable reduction in the agricultural yield,”
“I spoke to Minister for Rural Development and Panchayat Raj H K Patil and Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister for Rural Development. They both have promised to address the issue,” he added.

“The government must check encroachments, pollution and mining that kill the waterbodies. There is a heavy amount of mining that goes on unabated around the river banks,” he said.  “The government first map the flow of the river and clearly demarcate it. At present, nobody really knows where the Arkavathy exists,” he added.

Credited with reviving five rivers that are facilitating around 1,000 villages in Rajasthan, Singh was of the opinion that unlike Rajasthan and some other states, Karnataka does not have a central river policy. The members of the Civil Society Group, who pledged their support to Singh, said the State is in dire need of a central River Policy.

“More than half of the State suffers from drought. We need to revive rivers in the State through community support,” said Seetarama, a member of the Group.

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