Bhopal: City Of Lakes' Four Seasonal Rivers On Verge Of Extinction

Bhopal: City Of Lakes' Four Seasonal Rivers On Verge Of Extinction

Rivers facing a dire situation due to overexploitation, encroachment and unabated discharge of waste, sais green activists

Staff ReporterUpdated: Friday, March 29, 2024, 12:34 AM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Over exploitation, lack of rejuvenation, and encroachment in their catchment areas have brought the four non-perennial rivers in and around the city of lakes on the brink of extinction. Bhopal has four urban- semi-urban seasonal rivers - Kaliyasot, Betwa, Uljhawan-Kolans and Barna - but they run almost dry throughout the year, barring monsoons. Environmental activists point fingers at authorities for failing to take necessary steps to preserve these water bodies.

Dug-well, borings in catchment of rivers has led to their over exploitation, while increasing encroachments in their catchment areas, green belt, and river bed has further worsened the condition of these non-perennial rivers. The extinction of these rivers would negatively impact the larger Narmada River.

The MP Pollution Control Board had presented a rejuvenation plan for these rivers in the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Action plan includes mainly covering aspect such as (Proposal for utilisation of sewage, ground water recharging or rain water harvesting, measures for regulating groundwater use, protection and management of flood plain zone, maintaining minimum E-flows and watershed management, plantation on both sides of the river, setting up of biodiversity parks etc.

Kaliyasote reservoir is a storage reservoir near Chuna Bhatti Village. The Kaliasot Dam was constructed for irrigation purposes and it irrigates 10,425 hectare agricultural land of Bhopal as well as Raisen districts.

Release of industrial, solid, medical waste

“These rivers are on verge of extinction as authorities are least interested in rejuvenating them. Dug-well, borings for the purpose of irrigation from the middle of these rivers lead to over exploitation of these rivers. Increasing encroachment in catchment areas, green belt and river beds is also a major concern. Release of sewage, solid waste, bio-medical waste from cities are also harming these rivers.”

- Dr SC Pandey Green activist

Over exploitation, increasing encroachment

“Over exploitation of rivers has led to the extinction of them. Concerning authorities should take initiative to save these urban and semi urban rivers for betterment of Bhopal and other cities. 250 meter catchment in rural areas, 50 meter green belt in urban areas and 33 meter in river bed should be ensured for rejuvenation of these rivers. The main plan should have construction of stop dams at regular intervals to rejuvenate these rivers and also release of water from time to time to give fresh lease of life to these water bodies .”

-Rashid Noor, environmentalist

Construction of stop dam

“These rivers are non-perennial and so there is no regular flow of water. During the rainy season, these rivers swell and carry away sewage, waste along with them. This is the reason that these rivers start looking dry with the end of monsoon. Construction of stop dams is the only way out to rejuvenate these rivers. Stop dams not only rejuvenate such water bodies but also serve the purpose of irrigation.” Brijesh Sharma, regional officer MP Pollution Control Board

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