Amarkantak (Madhya Pradesh), May 15: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said India's economy is based on its rivers and it is because of the river Narmada that Madhya Pradesh has been able to achieve agricultural prosperity.
"Narmada has the power to change farmers' lives. We say, water is life and river is our mother. Our economy is dependent on rivers and will collapse without them. We have used Narmada haphazardly. So now, we have to make efforts to save it," he said while addressing the concluding ceremony of the 150-day-long "Narmada Seva Yatra".
"Narmada is behind the prosperity of farmers in Madhya Pradesh. The state's agricultural growth rate has reached 20 per cent, in which Narmada has a major contribution," Modi said.
"If we fail in our duty of protecting rivers, it will spell doom for the mankind. I was born in Gujarat and the people of Gujarat know the value of every drop of Narmada," he added.
Modi added that a river in Kerala, Bharatpuja, was about to vanish.
He said the 150-day Narmada yatra for the rejuvenation of the river was a near-impossible task and a rare event.
"It is unfortunate that if a government or a politician joins it, attempts are made to underrate it. If such a drive were carried out by any other country, it would have become a global talk. News channels would have rushed to cover it," Modi said.
The Prime Minister applauded Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for undertaking the drive to plant six crore saplings and preparing a nature conservation plan.
The Madhya Pradesh government will plant fruit-bearing trees at every kilometre on both sides of the river. The government will also give compensation to farmers for the initial three years, as there will be no fruits on these trees till then.
"I have studied the work plan prepared by the Madhya Pradesh government. Everyone has a role in it. It details how it will be carried out and who will monitor it. It is a perfect vision document. I urge Shivrajji to send this document to all states. It is a classic example of conservation of natural resources," he said.
The Prime Minister added that Madhya Pradesh was also ready with its plan to contribute to the nation-wide goal of doubling farmers' income by 2022.
Talking about the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan's success, Modi said involvement of people was biggest power of democracy.
"If we neglect people's involvement, their support, or their power, governments will not be able do anything. Howsoever good leadership it may be and howsoever perfect be the plan, we will not get success without people's support.
"Madhya Pradesh is a classic example of success on account of people's support. In the latest survey, 22 of total 100 clean cities are from this very state," Modi noted.