Save the rivers before it’s too late

The monsoon has arrived in the Andaman Sea and is expected to hit the Kerala coast on 31 May. Meanwhile, an intense heatwave is sweeping northern India, while water levels in the country’s 150 reservoirs monitored by the Central Water Commission are alarmingly low at just 25 percent of their total capacity. The storage position in most of these reservoirs is lower than the corresponding period of last year and less than the normal storage.

Particularly striking is the deficiency in the Godavari, Krishna, and Cauvery basins, which can have a debilitating impact on meeting drinking water needs, irrigation, and hydropower generation. Even in Arunachal Pradesh, heatwave is sweeping the state. Many streams and rivers are drying up. The monsoon rains are still awaited. What is worrying is the growing trend of streams and rivers drying quickly with each passing year. Especially in urban areas like the Itanagar Capital Region and in the district headquarters, several streams and rivers are facing the threat of extinction. It’s all due to rampant deforestation added to pollution. People divert their drains to these rivers and streams. Further, several rivers are facing threats due to rampant sand and stone mining. Efforts should be made to save them. What is happening in Godavari, Krishna, and Cauvery basins should be a lesson for Arunachal.