River Revival:Leveraging the Faith For Nature Restoration

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Civilisations in the past came to rivers and settled. Now the rivers come to civilisations through tap waters. TERRE Policy Centre’s Restoration Project.

Understanding the Background
The River Krishna is one of the three great rivers of southern India. It takes birth near a hill station named Mahabaleshwar, in the Satara district of western Maharashtra. Of the total of 1400 km length, the length of the river in Maharashtra is nearly 243 kms. As it is a perennial river, the total region along the course of the river is dotted with a dense population engaged in different activities.The length of Krishna River within the Satara district is 176 kms , along which it is joined by the main tributaries I.e. the rivers Kudali, Veena, Urmodi, Tarali and Koyana,. All the tributaries rise in the Western Ghats and run eastward to meet River Krishna at its right bank except River Vasana which flows southward and joins its left bank.
The river as on verge of environmental disaster and has been put to risk by numerous factors.
The degradation of the river occurs due to both natural and anthropogenic factors but anthropogenic factors are highly accountable than the natural factors for the degradation. Western part of the river is rich in rock material used for building purpose and to obtain such a resource, mining by blasting is unavoidable. In this process oxides and hydroxide of aluminium get mixed easily in the river during Monsoons which pollutes the water. Deforestation is carried out at an extensive rate and causes both erosion and decomposition of vegetational biomass in river which changes the color, taste and smell of the water. The waste water from the settlements (urban and rural) gets disposed into the river causing river pollution with toxic chemicals and non-biodegradable materials. It is observed that till date proper and adequate treatment of water is not done before disposing it. The industrial waste, washing of vehicle and clothes discharges pollutants in the water. During festivals, celebrations and fairs, flowers, oil, coconuts, red, yellow and black powder, papers and plastics are rendered in the river which easily mix in river water. This disrupts all the natural balances of the aquatic life and is causing river to die. Urgent actions are needed for protecting this lifeline of millions of the people, animal, for a and fauna along with its bio-diversity. Serious attempts to rejuvenate and clean Krishna River and make it pollution free have not been succeeded.

Seizing the OPPORTUNITY
• River Krishna, like all other rivers are revered in India.
• The river Krishna is driving force for the thriving civilization in western Maharashtra. It is associated with number of saintly temples, settlements and religious structures which are built over centuries on its right and left banks.
• 12 August 2016 marks entry of the planet Guru (Jupiter) in Kanya constellation (Virgo) and will remain there for 13 months.
• There will be a festival from 12th August, 2016 to 12th September 2017 along the banks of River Krishna, named “Kanyagat Mahotsav” which is celebrated once in 12 years. People from all over India and even from other parts of the world throng along the river to celebrate varieties of festivals.
• This festive period can be taken as an opportunity to make people aware about the degraded situation of the river and to engage them in preventing the river pollution during festivities and , more importantly, rejuvenate the river.
• This can be an opportunity to make change happen towards making Krishna clean and showing people how to celebrate a festival in a sustainable way instead of making it messy and polluting our resources.
• Such use of opportunity would help in preventing degradation of Krishna, restoring and conserving the nature and biodiversity, improving the health, and even generate eco-entrepreneurship and employment.

The Project proposal, Namami Krishna’ is therefore made with overall objective to clean Krishna, rejuvenate it and make it pollution free.

Defining the  OBJECTIVES
• To develop discrete rejuvenation plans starting with the region in the confluence region of Rivers Koyana and Krishna primarily in Karad and later in phases cover the entire length of the river till the border of Maharashtra.
• To create awareness about the present condition of River Krishna, causes for the pollution and importance of keeping it clean
• To enhance people participation to implement the plans in short term and long term including during the festivities. .
• To generate employment through activities which engage in the rejuvenation of the river.
• To sustain the condition of the river post the rejuvenation scheme.

FOR DETAILS LIKE SUGGESTED PHASES OF THE SCHEME, KEY CHALLENGES, STRATEGIES AND RESOURCE PLANNING, PLEASE CONTACT :

shende.rajendra@gmail.com

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