Sharda river water to save dried up Gomti in UP

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Lucknow, Jul 10 (UNI) Bahujan Samaj Party might be opposing BJP for political reasons but it has accepted the dream project of former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to link the rivers of the country.

Taking an innovate step, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has envisaged a river linking project by linking the dried up Gomti with well-fed Himalayan river Sharda.

The project will help in to resuscitate the dying Gomti, the life line for seven cities of the state including Lucknow.

Meanwhile, the BSP government has taken up 'clean Gomti' drive in a big way and yesterday it has completed cleaning of about 12 kms of the river which passes through the state capital.

The government has also announced to set up the largest Sewege Treatment Plant (STP) of the country in Lucknow on the bank of Gomti.

The decision to link both the rivers was taken at a State Advisory Committee's meeting recently. Principal secretary Urban Development S R Lakha here said that a feasibility report was been sought to connect Gomti with Sharda through a canal.

''The river connection can be carried out in two ways, either through a 100 km long canal linking the river between Pilibhit and Pallia in Lakhimpur Khiri or connecting it with the Sharda Canal that flows very close to Gomti,'' he said.

The Sharda canal flows very close to Gomti and the distance could be approximately 50 metres. ''Experts are on the job to evaluate whether it would be prudent to build a canal or link Sharda and Gomti near Lucknow through existing Sharda canal,'' the official said.

He said the irrigation department was asked to study the feasibility report and submit the same to the government at the earliest. ''This link will bring new life to the dying Gomti as this canal will also help in diverting surplus water in Sharda during rains to Gomti,'' Mr Lakha said.

The Gomti originates from a pond-like waterbody in Pilibhit.

Over the years, this water source has shrunk, reducing the flow of the river. Besides, 400 million litres of domestic sewage is dumped into the river in Lucknow daily that has clogged the free flow of water and has reduced the river Gomti to just a nullah.

According to an estimate, if Gomti gets 300 cusecs of additional water daily, there will an increase in the level of dissolved oxygen in the river and this will also help washing away the pollutants.

The Biological Oxygen Dissolved (BOD) level in Gomti is found to be less than 30, which is considered to be fatal for aquatic life.

With the water source drying up in Pilibhit, and with fast depleting water mass in the river, authorities concerned and other organisations involved in clean Gomti campaign are almost finding it impossible to contain pollution.

If the feasibility is approved, the project has to come up within two years. ''The deadline is strict. The Chief Minister wants the river linking project to get over by 2010. Therefore, everyone is on an overdrive to complete this project,'' Mr Lakha said.


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