Narmada Sewa Yatra: Narendra Modi releases new blueprint to clean, conserve Madhya Pradesh's holy river

Amarkantak: Prime Minister Narendra Modi released a new blueprint to clean and conserve river Narmada at Amarkanta in Madhya Pradesh on Monday. The prime minister, who was in the state to attend the culmination of a 148-day long mass awareness programme also stressed the importance to save other rivers in India.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image courtesy: Praveen Bajpai

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Image courtesy: Praveen Bajpai

“There are large numbers of rivers in India which have now remained (only) on the map of India and have gotten lost. Had we not exploited, polluted and destroyed our rivers for our selfish requirements, the need to save and conserve them wouldn’t have arisen, like in the case of river Narmada," Modi said while addressing a gathering at Amarkanta, the origin site of river Narmada.

"In 2022, India shall celebrate its 75 years of Independence. We need to join all the 125 crore Indians together to create a new India,” he added.

Modi, who also paid obeisance to river Narmada as part of the "Namami Devi Narmada Sewa Yatra" programme, praised the public for their support. "A river conservation programme of this scale would not have been possible without public participation and efforts of the 25,000 people of Madhya Pradesh. The people and the government of Madhya Pradesh have made this first-of-its-kind initiative possible with an unprecedented success,” he said.

The programme saw more than 25,000 people from all walks of life cover 1,100 villages and a distance of 3,050 kilometres in the form of a "Sewa Yatra", and has been claimed as the world’s largest river conservation initiative.

The programme was launched on 11 December 2016 with an aim to create awareness amongst the masses for making river Narmada clean, pollution-free and promote conservation.

Amarkantak is situated on the Vindhyachal mountain range (Vindhya Parbat) in the Anuppur district of Madhya Pradesh. Also known as the "Vindhyan Supergroup", it is one of the largest and thickest sedimentary successions in the world.

This small yet one of the holiest places in India’s pilgrimage map has ecological, religious, spiritual and tourism importance.

Apart from river Narmada, another important river Sone originates from Amarkantak and passes through Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and takes a massive shape in Bihar.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “Let us take a pledge that all of us will protect and conserve not only river Narmada but also others like Betwa, Pench, Chambal etc. We’ll make river Narmada the cleanest river in the world and for this, the participation of all the people in the state is needed.”

Key highlights of river Narmada conservation and development programme

  • Launch of Narmada Sewa Mission. MP CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan to lead the mission at the apex level, while at the grass root level the villagers will carry it forward.
  • On 2 July six crore saplings will be planted along the banks of river Narmada and on its catchment area.
  • The banks of Narmada and its catchment area will be announced as an eco-sensitive zone.
  • Sale and consumption of liquor will be banned within 5 km radius of river Narmada.
  • Strictly ensure that no industrial effluent, garbage, domestic wastes, etc are discharged in river Narmada.
  • Set up effluent treatment plants.
  • Special pounds (kund) to be created for immersion of idols
  • Amarkantak will be developed as a smart mini-city under Smart City Mission.
  • IIT Roorkee will be roped in to study the areas in Amarkantak and Vindhyachal where safe mining could be done.
  • Organic farming will be encouraged along the banks of Narmada.
  • Subsidiary rivers will be protected.

Published Date: May 15, 2017 10:02 pm | Updated Date: May 15, 2017 10:10 pm

Also See