R'than to look for Saraswati river to meet water needs

In a bid to solve drinking water problem in desert area of western Rajasthan, the state government will soon undertake a project for locating the ancient Saraswati river and exploring its water resources for human purpose.

A detailed project report has been submitted to the Union Water Resource Ministry and approval has been sought for the project.

The state government is of the view that in case water of the ancient Saraswati river is located in Rajasthan, it could be used for drinking and irrigation purposes. The ancient river is believed to have flowed through various districts of the state including Jaisalmer, Hanumangarh, Ganganagar, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Barmer.

“If the project gets approval, the state government will start searching for the river and its water in over 25,000 sqkm. Activities like groundwater survey, drilling of tubewells, core drilling and isotope studies will be carried out. If we identify presence of palaeochannels of Saraswati river, it would be used for human purpose,” said an official of water resource department. Several surveys had been conducted in past to locate the river and it has been scientifically proved that palaeochannels of Saraswati river still exists in Rajasthan.

“A survey was conducted at eight places in Rajasthan between 1995 and 1999. Samples of the groundwater were taken from various places and were sent to Bhabha Atomic Research Centre for isotope test. The test report confirmed that water was as old as 1,900 to 5,700 years. So it’s a clear indication that palaeochannels of Saraswati river still exists in Rajasthan,” said a senior official in the state government. 

The Indian Space Research Centre’s remote sensing services centre (RSSC), Jodhpur, also confirmed the presence of palaeochannels in western Rajasthan, he added.

Once approval is granted, the state government will start exploration work at a war footing. The government would seek assistance from the National Institute of Hydrology and Regional Remote Sensing Service Centre for the project. 

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