Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh): The issue of resolving the mixing of polluted water of Khan (or Kahn) river of Indore into Kshipra (or Shipra) river of Ujjain seems to be poised as the State government seems to be caught in a Catch-22 situation.
Be it Cabinet ministers of Shivraj Singh Chouhan government or senior bureaucrats or even the technocrats the decision makers are in a fix over tackling the polluted water of Kahn river to ensure resurrection of the pristine glory of Kshipra.
On Thursday, water resources minister Tulsi Silawat declared a new suggestion to keep the waters of river Kshipra free from pollution.
Three-stop dams will be constructed on polluted Kahn river between Panthpiplai and Shani Mandir to prevent mixing of its water into the waters of the Kshipra, he announced after inspecting three spots of Kahn river's catchment areas in Panthpiplai, Raghopipliya and Shani Mandir in the afternoon.
Higher education minister Mohan Yadav, Member of Parliament Anil Firojia, collector Asheesh Singh and senior officials of water resources department were in attendance.
Since the aforesaid points of river Kahn fall under the Ujjain South constituency represented by Yadav, he at once agreed to the suggestions of Silawat.
However, ministers Silawat and Yadav were in for an awkward situation during a meeting with a delegation of Kshad-darshan Sadhu Samaj at Brihaspati Bhavan. The delegates bluntly rejected the proposal.
'Construction of stop dams will not serve the purpose. Polluted water of Kahn River is bound to mix in Kshipra. Kshipra holds special religious significance for Ujjain as every visitor aims to take a bath in its waters and to drink its water,' Samaj's head Mahant Rameshwardas told the ministers.
LAYING 13-KM LONG CANAL IS THE SOLUTION
During meeting that lasted for over 30 minutes,Pt Mahesh Pujari and other delegates insisted that the pious nature of Kshipra River should be maintained at every cost. Mahant Rameshwardas made it clear that diverting the polluted water of Kahn River was the first and last option. ìAn open-to-air canal should be dug between Triveni Ghat and Kaliadeh Palace which is about 13 km in length. After Kaliadeh Palace, the authorities can develop a sewage treatment plant to release the treated water in the Kshipra. When it reaches Mahidpur another plant can be installed to prevent pollution of water there, the veteran saint said.
Looking to the aggression of saint and sadhu community delegation, minister Silawat directed the concerned engineers to immediately examine the proposal of laying open sky canal on 13 km river side. He asked the saints to co-operate with the government.
ìWe are quite sincere to fulfil the wishes of sadhu-saint and also committed to the pristine glory of Kshipra, but it is very tough and challenging task to ensure that it remains non-polluted,î the minister said. ìTo achieve this target, we would have to execute short-term and long-term plans and we have already started working on it,î†he said.
WHAT YADAV SAID?
Cabinet minister Mohan Yadav during a press conference here on December 28 had announced that the polluted water of Kahn River of Indore will be distributed in the villages of Sanwer constituency for irrigation. It will prevent mixing of the polluted water in the Kshipra well-before Raghopipliya dam. Now, he is saying that three stop-dams should be constructed between Panthpiplai and Shani Mandir to check the over-flow of Khan water.
WHAT THE MP SAYS?
MP Anil Firojia said that the Union water resources minister has agreed on a proposal to treat Kahn River water and to divert it. ìI have asked the MP government authorities to submit a plan to me for it so that be included in the ambitious Ganga River basin project,î he reiterated before the delegation of Kshad-darshan Sadhu Samaj. He even went on to say that he would take them to New Delhi so as to exert pressure on the Union minister.
A special team comprising additional chief secretary SN Mishra (water resources department) and IPS Keshari (Narmada Valley Development Authority and principal secretary (urban administration and development department) Manish Singh visited various points of Kahn River here on December 17. They were sent by the CM in wake of a stir launched by the Kshad-darshan Sadhu Samaj. The team had suggested three-point plan including temporary and permanent measures to overcome the issue. Their suggestions include construction of temporary bund between Raghopipliya and Shani Mandir, treatment of polluted water at various places before Ujjain and supplying the same for irrigation to the villages lying on either side of Indore to Sanwer. Ahead of the Makar Sankranti on January 14-15, the water resources department has started work of bunds on Kahn River.
At the behest of Kshad-darshan Sadhu Samaj, the local saint community launched a serial sit-in near Dutt Akhara on the banks of river to press their one-point demand of making Kshipra pollution-free in the early December. Later, Teerth Purohits, priests of Mahakaleshwar Temple and other temples and socio-voluntary workers also extended their support to the agitation. The agitation was called-off on the fifth day following the assurance of ministers Yadav and Silawat that their demand would be met and before that they would be taken to Bhopal to meet the CM on the issue. As this assurance did not materialise, the Kshad-darshan Sadhu Samaj served an ultimatum to the government that if their demand was not met till December 31, they will be forced to re-launch their sit-in.
SILAWAT ORDERS PROBE
Chief engineer of water resources development department tries to convince the ministers FP PHOTOS. |
Water resources development minister Tulsi Silawat admitted that despite various measures undertaken by the State government and Indore administration, the polluted water of Kahn river is still mixing in the Kshipra. He said that construction of bunds is not a permanent solution. On failure of Khan River Diversion Project costing over Rs 100 crore, which was executed just before the Simhastha Fair-2016, the minister said he will order a probe at once.