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MP water crisis deepens despite crores spent on river projects

Bhopal, Dec 21 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh is in the grip of a serious water crisis. Crores of rupees are being spent on major rivers but their condition worsens with each passing year.

While the government’s expenditure is increasing, the number of water resources is decreasing. The question is that even after spending crores of rupees, neither new water structures are taking shape nor rivers are flowing, so who is benefitting?

The Kshipra River, which flows in the holy city of Ujjain, is considered to be a “Mokshadayani” river (river of salvation). The plight of this river has its own story. For a few months in a year, after the rains, the river’s water becomes fit for bathing.

However, in December, the river water becomes muddy.

With the aim to make this river flow, the water of the Narmada River was brought at a cost of Rs 571 crore but to no avail.

In January last year, Chief Minister Kamal Nath removed the then Divisional Commissioner and Collector over the devotees having to bathe in the muddy water of the river during the Shanishvari Amavasya.

Former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had launched a “Narmada Samagra Abhiyaan” to give new life to the Narmada river.

However, the condition of the river is worse than before.

In the last two and a half decades there was a “Jal Bachao” campaign during Digvijaya Singh’s tenure, whereas the “Jalabhishek” campaign and the “Narmada Samagra Abhiyaan” gained momentum during the BJP’s 15-year rule.

Hundreds of crores of rupees were spent on these campaigns, but the situation did not improve.

The water crisis has worsened. Rs 1,600 crore was given for a special package to resolve the water crisis in Bundelkhand — a drought-prone area of the state.

During the BJP rule, the Jan Abhiyan Parishad campaigned to make the water sources full, the rivers flowing cleanly, but not a single river could be revived.

The council itself had revealed that more than 330 rivers of the state have been lost.

The Kamal Nath-government has waged a campaign to revive 31 rivers. The question is whether these rivers will be revived or their fate will be the same as during the previous campaigns.

Amulya Nidhi, Co-convener of the “Save Zindagi Abhiyan” campaign, said, “The previous governments have spent a lot of money to make the rivers flow in the state and revive the water infrastructure.”

“The rivers are still dry. The present government should work on a new strategy keeping in mind the mistakes and challenges of the past, and that the work should be entrusted to the people whose intentions are clear. Their work experience should be evaluated,” Nidhi added.

Social activist Pawan Ghuwara, who fought against the misuse of the Bundelkhand package, said, “The governments approve the funds. However, the officials misuse it and the public keeps on longing for water.”

The Kamal Nath-government is now enacting the Right to Water Act. Besides, a campaign is underway to resolve the water crisis.

“The budget sanctioned for water should be spent on water,” Ghuwara added.

–IANS

hindi-vin/bg

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