Expert cautions against building barrages on Ganga river

Expert cautions against building barrages on Ganga riverPatna:  Rajendra Singh, a water conservationist also known as India’s waterman, Monday cautioned the central government over its plan to build barrages on the Ganga river.

The Magsaysay Award winner said the plan to construct 16 barrages on the river between Haldia and Allahabad should be put on hold till the impact of another barrage, built in Farakka, on the area’s bio-diversity is evaluated.

He said the building of barrages would be disastrous for both Bihar and Uttar Pradesh and for the millions of people living along the Ganga.

“The debilitating impact of the Farakka barrage alone on the bio-diversity and free flow of the Ganga and the resultant large-scale erosion, floods and displacement of people in Bihar was a signal for exercising caution,” Singh said.

He urged people, particularly environmentalists and activists to intervene and inform the central government on the impact of building barrages.

“The low contour differences in Bihar plains practically rule out the feasibility of building barrages. Even a 1-metre high barrage would have an impact on several miles of the river in state,” he said.

Singh said he was not against development of the region but favoured development with restoration.