Comprehensive policy to revitalise rivers needed: Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev
Thiruvananthapuram: A comprehensive policy to revitalise and sustain rivers in the country is needed and a draft policy resolution over it will be submitted to the
Centre at Delhi on October 2 at the conclusion of 'Rally of Rivers, Isha foundation head Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev said today.
"We do not have a comprehensive policy to revitalise and sustain the rivers, which are in peril. It is time we take steps to ensure that rivers continue to flow, which means life will continue to happen", he told reporters here.
The Foundation, which is organising the 'Rally of Rivers' which will traverse 16 states, is in the process of completing a draft policy resolution which will be submitted to the Union government on October 2 at Delhi, when the rally concludes. Jaggi Vasudev said the draft policy would address all stakeholders-- Rivers, farmers, Larger Community and state and central governments.
"We are demonstrating economic models where farmers income can be raised from three to eight times by moving from crop based agriculture to tree based agriculture", he said.
Pointing out that the first stakeholder -- rivers -- were slowly dying, he said 96 per cent of rivers in India are forest fed and only four per cent are glacier fed.
He said the cycle of drought and floods across the country was due to the fact that water bodies are not able to retain water and suggested that fruit and medicinal trees be grown in around one km of land in catchment areas on either side of rivers.
Fortunately, 25 per cent of land was with the government and they should be converted into forests, he said. Jaggi Vasudev said the time was long past where individual efforts would bring in results.
"There are policies and policies on how to use and share the waters. Since rivers are a concurrent subject, the aim of the rally was to bring concurrence in all states," he said.
The Isha Foundation said this was the first time that governments across the political spectrum had concurred to one single movement. This concurrence was vital for the Central government to make a policy, he said. The road rally, which was flagged off from Coimbatore on September 3 and arrived here today, will cover 16 states,
which are 'heavily farmed'.
The spiritual guru said he had met two Chief Ministers and had written to 14 others, including Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and all of them had responded positively and confirmed their support. The next challenge was to get industries to invest in putting up infrastructure for necessary value addition of the farmers produce, he said.
When pointed that the Kerala government was keen to go ahead with the controversial Athirapally hydel project, he said such projects are generally 'things of the past'.
He said he did not think new hydel projects were coming up, except in the North East, where they were exporting power to neighbouring countries.
"I don't think we have to fear hydel projects in future. I am not an ecologist or scientist. There is a lot of activism and protests over hydel and nuclear projects and hydel projects. We have to decide what we want". Jaggi Vasudev said it was for Keralites to decide on whether they were keen on hydel projects.
"I hope a very qualified and informed decision will be taken and not a rash political decision', he added. PTI