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Rivers- India’s lifelines

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Author: 
Dr. Shanthi Sree, K. S., Dr. Suvarna Latha, A., Dr. Lakshmi Padmavathi, P., Yasodamma, N., Bharathi, D. and Nagalakshmamma, K.
Abstract: 

Today, India’s Rivers, reverine biodiversity and river dependent communities are facing major threats from large dams, pollution, encroachment, sand mining, deforestation and bad management practices. These factors are impacting all aspects of rivers: ecological, social, cultural, religious, aesthetic, tourism related and economic. Currently the CBD fails to influence any aspect of India’s decision making and management of its rivers which is proving fatal to biodiversity and livelihoods. There are various kinds of approaches. One measure that a lot of states have taken so far is to build check dams, often turning the river into a string of ponds. Another one is digging pits in the river and filling it with boulders so that the water percolates and wells around are replenished this is a sure death knell for the river. These kinds of approaches aim at exploiting the rivers, not saving them. A naturally flowing river has a completely different ecology. When the land was covered by rain forest, the precipitation gathered in the streams and rivers, and they were in full flow. In order to feed the rivers, the soil around them needs to be wet. Today, the whole land is ploughed. Without sufficient amount of shade and constant replenishment through organic material such as leaves and animal droppings, the top layer of the soil leaches out and turns to sand over a period of time. Trees are reduced: animals are slaughtered – there is no replenishment of the soil. Maintaining a substantial number of trees for at least one kilometer width along the riverside’s has vast environmental, social and economic benefits for nation and society. Such large-scale, long-term action can only be sustained through government policy. This will ensure our rivers are fed through the year by the moist soil. This will also reduce floods, drought and soil loss, and increase farmers’ incomes.

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

 

               Prof. Dr. ISMAIL YILDIRIM

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