Do not interfere with Nature

I don’t know why but when people reach to places where they can dictate the terms, they think they can do whatever they like. They can bulldoze the mountains to make the earth plane so that they would make it available for cultivation. Maybe they can connect all the rivers with each other so the water thus available a plenty for human use. However, they should know that this is Nature’s job to give rivers their direction and if human would try to interfere in that, it will only be against the Nature. I will boomerang on us. If someone fly up taking a chopper ride over the Himalayan range, he can easily find two separate origin points of Ganga and Yamuna, namely Gangotri and Yamnotri. Both these points are not far from each other. My point is if Nature wanted to connect both of these, it was easy for Nature to joint these two rivers there itself. But it was Nature’s decision to joint them at Sangam after taking full advantage of their water through out the area these rivers flow by. And Sangam was not the end of the journey of the river but it had to proceed further to serve the purpose of delta.   

Story of Damodar Dam 

Not many people are aware that during the period the Damodar dam was under construction Kapil Bhattacharya, an engineer associated with the project wanted his department to stop the entire Damodar Valley Project. His department paid no heed to his suggestion but asked why he was interested to stop the work that was worth billions of rupees and it would serve so many purposes. Kapil had then tried to convince them that if they would stop the flow of Damodar, to adversely affect the delta, which in turn would destroy the Kolkata port. The flow that cleans the silt and takes it out of the riverbed along with it would decrease the depth of the river disabling ships to reach to the port. The silt would be so harmful and hard to manage that probably would demand a new port. By then Bangladesh had not come into existence, but Bhattacharya had forewarned that it could affect the relations with neighboring countries. 

Technology and Nature

Ocean does not abide by man-made technologies but it has its own special powers. Man cannot make embankments using its technology to stop its water. Whenever man has tried to interfere with Nature, the Nature has blown it out like a mere straw. We are well aware that Sundarban in the Bay of Bengal area prevent all damage at source coming in from of natural disasters by stopping cyclones etc. The destroyed Sundarban in Paradeep is one example of the reasons caused super cyclones that hit Orrisa occasionally. And why is all this happening, for a simple reason, the man is committing intolerable crimes against Nature. The intensity of crime thus being committed is not measurable nor the Nature is going to excuse us and if man thinks jointing all rivers with each other could be useful for the sake of solution of providing water to all, it is going to prove one of the direst mistakes man would ever commit. We all should protest against people who have been trying to convince policy makers of this country to give this project a go-ahead signal.

It Happened in Bengal

Does anyone remember the British Sir William W’ famous series of six lectures delivered to his engineers at Bengal’ Presidency House in which he warned against the long-run damages caused by the canal network constructed over the years in Bengal. He had made it clear that all the losses incurred would be far greater than the profits of irrigation in future. He presented a full report of decreased production of crops after the creation of the canal’s network. It only caused destroying the famous Sonar-Bangla culture instead.

It happened in Madhya Pradesh

The same happened with Tawa Dam at Hoshangabad in Madhya Pradesh, where the construction work started in 1958 and completed in 1978. Just because they failed to construct a Dam at Narmada during that period due to agitations, they made one at Tawa instead. The dam caused havoc in the area by converting the big harvesting fields into swampy wetlands. The area famous for big yields was destroyed beyond repair to the limit that the German Development Bank did not care to recover the money it spent on construction of the dam. They put this account on ‘Bad Debt’ column and disappeared from the scene writing off all the balance. Choudhary Banwarilal, a true Gandhian was the only person who had protested against Tawa Dam but his protests were not heard. Later he started ‘soil conservation’ movement, which is very much the need of the hour of this country in today’s situation. We need more such movements to save our rivers in danger of extinction from the scene altogether.  

The facts revealed by the British expert almost eight decades back are still true. The production in the areas where dams were constructed has decreased significantly, the quality of water has deteriorated and it contains more salt. There has been one major change in such areas the cases of malaria have increased. This all is happening probably due to lesser speed of water that helps mosquito in reproduction. Let us think about the situation if we go ahead with ‘combine the rivers’ plan. Not a single environmental scientist approves this plan for our country but according to them, water that flows down to the sea is still useful for human. Just imagine if the water did not go to the sea, where would have it ended on the land?

Karnataka faced one such situation

The stand taken by Ram Krishna Hegde is one of the best examples opportunistic politics on water. He opposed a dam in his area but later when he became the chief minister of Karnataka he changed his stand overnight. Hegde who led the anti dam agitation from the front saw the need of the dam in the greater interest of the state as a whole. Hegde was in favor of the dam for its short-term benefits but that was one example that people in power do not see beyond short term gains. According to Hegde, the electricity was the most important requirement of the state at that time and to fulfill the need of the industry he was ready to sacrifice farmers’ interests. But farmers of the area resisted up to the end and won their fight. We need such determined efforts on the part of farmers to save the land of this country.

Conclusion

The need of the hour is to talk to people in favor of ‘River Linking Project’ and tell them in a firm voice to refrain from it. This project will destroy the natural resources of this country and will only increase the problems on natural front. We have had enough of such foolish proposals and we do not need such schemes for the greater interest of this country. We no longer need to listen to them who do not understand about geography, history and the natural conditions of this country but it is turn of public to tell them about what is in best interest of this country.  


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