Patna: Echoing Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s concern for receding water flow in the Ganga and increasing silt deposit due to Farakka barrage causing floods in Bihar every year, experts today advocated “urgent review” and comprehensive study of the barrage to make the river rejuvenated.
Magsaysay award winner Rajendra Singh, also known as Waterman, advocated removal of Farakka barrage and said that “On the basis of what we have discussed so far, we can easily say that Farakka is inauspicious (Ashubh) for Bihar. It is a curse (Abhishap) which needs to be removed. Because unless and untill we remove it, we cannot move forward.”
Singh was addressing an international seminar, organised by Bihar’s Water Resources Department, on “Incessant Ganga” on the second day.
“We have so far discussed so many aspects such as engineering and technological aspects of Farakka, but there are other aspects such as environmental, cultural, natural, spiritutal that need to be discussed,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, environment expert Himanshu Thakkar advocated urgent need for review of Farakka barrage which, he claimed, had failed to fulfill any of the purpose – irrigation, hydro electric power, water supply – of the barrage for which it was built.
Farakka barrage was built to maintain the navigability of Kolkata port, he added.
Thakkar, who is a coordinator of South Asia Network on Dams, River and People, New Delhi, said “There is a need for urgent review of Farakka barrage which is 42 years old. In the US, review of barrage is conducted in every 20 years, but in our country this practice is not followed.” .