Singh was speaking at the National Convention on Rejuvenation of River Godavari in Rajamahendravaram.

Urgent need to rejuvenate Godavari River in Andhra says water man Rajendra SinghWikimedia Commons/Mullookkaaran
news Environment Monday, June 11, 2018 - 09:11

Dr Rajendra Singh, popularly dubbed the ‘waterman of India’, on Sunday stressed on the need to protect Godavari River and said that it played a crucial role historically and culturally, besides environmentally.

He was speaking on the last day of the National Convention on Rejuvenation of River Godavari in Rajamahendravaram in Andhra Pradesh.

Pointing out that the river flows through six states including Andhra Pradesh, he said that the respective state governments must take the responsibility to protect the water body. 

Stating that the rejuvenation of Godavari must be undertaken soon, Singh told reporters, “All the governments since Independence have been friendly either to the corporates or the contractors, and neglected the rivers."

In March last year, Andhra's ambitious river-linking project, titled the Pattiseema Lift Irrigation Scheme, found itself a place in the Limca Book of Records for being completed within a year.

The project interlinked the Godavari river and the Krishna river in Andhra's West Godavari district.

In what is claimed to be the first-ever river interlinking in south India, the project sought to meet the irrigation and drinking water needs of drought-prone Rayalaseema region in the state.

The state had said that about 3000 TMC of Godavari water flows away into the Bay of Bengal every year, while there was hardly enough water in the Krishna. The state's idea is to divert the surplus Godavari water into the Krishna basin and eventually Rayalaseema.

In September last year, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said that the state would be developed as a model state in protection and revival of rivers.

He said interlinking of rivers is only a temporary solution to water problem but the permanent solution lies in their revival.

Naidu said protection of all 20 rivers in coastal Andhra and 19 rivers in Rayalseema was every citizen's responsibility.

At the time, Rajendra Singh said that encroachments on river embankments should be removed. He said that he would not support the linking of rivers, but extended support to revival of rivers.


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