Govt determined to restore canals and rivers

Time to incorporate a holistic approach to save them

It is good to note that the government has undertaken a massive plan to recover canals, wetlands and rivers across the country and re-excavate those to increase their navigability and water reservation capacity. All the water bodies including small and big canals and rivers will be freed from illegal encroachment and necessary steps will be taken to increase the water flow in line with the master plan.

Most of the country’s rivers have been illegally occupied by influential people and numerous institutions, destroying the entire ecological balance and natural beauty. More than a hundred rivers have already died since independence. The list of who are responsible for the slow but sure death of our rivers is very long; from big corporations to government institutions, everyone seems to have claimed their share of the pie. Industries seem to think it is their right to dump their waste into our rivers. Grabbers see no problem in claiming vast areas of water-bodies for their personal and commercial use.  

It is high time that the 

government takes a 

holistic and unbiased approach to save the rivers 

and wetlands across the country from encroachment

The High Court issued a 17-point directive in 2019 to save the country’s rivers and water-bodies, and the Prime Minister herself has, on multiple occasions, directed the ministries to take necessary measures. Yet, our rivers continue to turn into drains.

It is high time that the government takes a holistic and unbiased approach to save the rivers and wetlands across the country from encroachment. We have made mistakes in the way we treated our rivers so far. Let us not continue to make those mistakes in future.

What is desired now is a concerted and well-deployed move fuelled by adequate allocation of resources to save the water-bodies. Appropriate legal actions against land grabbers are a must for recovering the occupied ones. 

Practice of wastage dumping in canals, lakes and rivers should be stopped. Besides, steps should be taken so that new installation could not take place filling canals. Water-bodies of the country should be recovered for ensuring natural balance and protecting environment keeping pace with development and urbanisation.