Published On : Mon, Apr 15th, 2013
Latest News | By Nagpur Today Nagpur News

Vidarbha’s main rivers dying,Government must prepare action plan to protect them

People, managements of industries, people’s representatives must work together for keeping the rivers clean, potable and also maintaining environmental balance


NAGPUR NEWS: Vidarbha’s seven districts boasted of its glorious history of having two main rivers and over dozens of tributaries. The rivers are: The Wardha River and the Vainganga River. These two rivers were proudly called lifeline of Vidarbha region. However, the condition of these two rivers now-a-days is not less than poisonous or say utterly polluted. But the bone of contention is not to inform the present condition of these two rivers. The million dollar question is who are responsible for the very very bad condition of these rivers. The most important fact is to draw attention of people, managements of industries, as well as people’s representatives towards their responsibility for keeping the rivers clean, potable and maintaining environmental balance. If they don’t wake up from deep slumber and don’t take appropriate action the days are not far away the rivers and the tributaries dying in an unfortunate way. The rivers as well as people face a pitched dark future. Time has come to nurse and protect the rivers at any cost.

Even if 10 per cent of total revenue received by various means from these rivers is spent on these rivers for nursing and protection and cleaning of pollution not only the future of the rivers would be safe but the problem water shortage could be resolved permanently. The Government should think of creating a River Royalty Fund on the lines of Mining Royalty Fund and the money should be spent only on protecting and nursing the rivers and tributaries. The Government must provide 10 per cent revenue to the district authorities from the total amount received from a river which passes through the district. The district authorities should take the responsibility of spending that amount on the particular river or other river for protection and nursing purpose.

The decision will prove a boon for Chandrapur district which alone will collect a revenue of Rs 1 crore per year for spending on the rivers. And most importantly, there will be no need for Government to provide extra money for the purpose. The step in this direction will keep the future of the rivers not only in Chandrapur district but also other rivers in Maharashtra as well as in the entire country safe.

Another aspect to maintain rivers unpolluted is to rein in industrial units, the major cause of pollution. The industrial units must not be allowed to utilize river water unless the work on water level of the river and its capacity is technically carried out. The Government should make it mandatory for industrial units to create their own water reservoir for utilization in their works. According to sources, there is a rule that makes the industrial units compulsory to build reservoirs of capacity that can store water for three months. But shockingly, not a single industrial unit followed the rule. The Government must initiate stringent action in the regard so that river water is saved and used for other vital purposes. The setting up of industrial units or coal mining by Western Coalfield Limited (WCL) at the distance of  half a kilometre from river bed must be prohibited. The WCL should also be told seriously not to put over burden at the shores of rivers. If the WCL authorities neglect the directive then they should be held responsible and a criminal offence registered against them.

Similarly, an action plan should be prepared for protection and nursing of Vidarbha’s two main rivers the Wardha River and Vainganga River as well as Chandrapur’s Erai, Zarpat Uma rivers which are facing several problems and are struggling hard for their existence. The action plan should be reviewed regularly and necessary steps should be taken in this connection. The Government should also make a provision which will bind the managements of industrial units to spend an amount on the protection and nursing of a specific river from where the industrial units have taken the water in proportion for their works. Another way is “River Adoption” scheme could be carried out. The Government must crackdown on the industrial units and other local factories generally held responsible for pollution of rivers. Pollution Control Board must be given more powers for taking action against such industries. District level committees should be formed comprising knowledgeable local persons to look after the maintenance of rivers. Sand mining should be regularized and sand mining should be allowed only after considering that the mining is not posing any potential hazard to environment.