‘Don’t make de-concretisation a prestige issue’
“We have to give priority to maintaining the health of the Godavari’s ponds. Concretisation is blocking the flow of the Godavari. We have to remove the concrete. However, de-concretisation should not be made a prestige issue. The focus should be given on the health of the Godavari,” emphasised world-renowned water conservationist Dr Rajendra Singh in Nashik recently.
Dr Singh was speaking at the ‘Aviral Godavari’ programme held as part of the ‘Brahmagiri ki Hariyali, Godavari ki Pavitrata’ event at MVP’s Raosaheb Thorat Auditorium. The event was jointly organised by Namami Goda Foundation, The Satsang Foundation, Sakal Social Foundation and Tarun Bharat Sangh. Dr Singh was interviewed by Vaishali Balajiwale, Executive Editor, Deshdoot.
Dr Singh covered many points during the interview and underlined that the citizens of Nashik need to contribute to the activities being held to let the Godavari flow uninterrupted and also take ownership of some of those activities.
He suggested this while answering a question regarding the importance of the Godavari’s holy ponds and the impact of concretisation.
When asked ‘How to take care of the water wells built by our ancestors?’, he said, “We have to understand the ancient water composition. There is a spiritual angle to it as well as a scientific one. So, protecting the ancient water composition would be inspiring for the young generation. For that, we have to safeguard our ponds, pits and wells. The ancient water composition made it holy, so those places became places of pilgrimage; remember, they were not tourist places. The current government is drifting from pilgrimage to tourism but it is inappropriate to earn from the mother in the name of tourism.”
Preserving the place of Godavari’s origin
When asked, ‘Why is it important to keep the Brahmagiri mountain range green?’, Dr. Singh said, “We have to carefully safeguard the place on the Brahmagiri mountain where the Godavari originates. Currently, we are trying to lead in financial and infrastructural facilities. However, the Brahmagiri mountain area should be declared an ‘Eco-Sensitive Zone’. A notification to make it a protected area has been issued. If the Brahmagiri mountain turns green, it will increase the Godavari’s purity. Recharging of water springs will happen and soil moisture will be retained. Of course, the perceptive Brahmagiri contains all the qualities that would make the Godavari flow again. Additionally, Godavari’s tributaries should be revitalized. If the Godavari starts flowing uninterrupted, pollution will be reduced. Efforts will have to be made to keep the river and the drains apart.”
Students and professors of MVP’s Architecture College presented a report on the river Nandini to Dr Singh. Two of his books were released on the occasion. Dr. Khurana elaborated on the books. Actor Kiran Bhalerao anchored the event. Dr Pulkundwar felicitated Swara, who has acted in ‘Godavarichi Pratidnya’. The students of Parmanand Academy presented a cultural show.
Dr. Rajendra Singh says
● If the king and the subjects are greedy, saints should prohibit people from polluting a river. However, if the saints are polluting the river, it is the responsibility of the intellectuals from colleges and universities to fix the problem.
● The knowledge of the Vedas is auspicious and does not have to be acquired but the knowledge that takes one through a path of individual advantage requires effort.
● Education leads us to the economic race. The environmental path is auspicious for all and we find it through knowledge. However, ignorant educated people kill rivers.
● The then Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh halted three dam projects worth Rs 2,000 crore in a month for Ganga Mata and declared it an eco-sensitive zone. As a result, the river Bhagirathi is flowing again as it used to in the past.
● Rivers are superpowers. So, the Government of Maharashtra is concerned about revitalizing rivers. The Government of Maharashtra has given a role model to the country through its ‘Let’s Get to Know Our Rivers’ initiative.
Caption: World-renowned water conservationist Dr. Rajendra Singh launches the ‘Aviral Godavari’ programme by watering the Tulsi plant. Also seen are Municipal Commissioner Dr. Chandrakant Pulkundwar and Managing Director of Tribal Development Corporation Leena Bansod