'Waterman' Rajendra Singh asks Chandrababu Naidu to leave house in Krishna flood area
Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent
Mr Singh flagged off the tour at Durga Ghat near Prakasam Barrage on Wednesday morning.
Rajendra Singh, (in red kurta) the Waterman of India.
Vijayawada: "Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu, who is neglecting our suggestions and residing in the River Krishna’s floodplains, should at least consider the words of his yoga guru, Jaggi Vasudevan, who is supporting our cause of saving rivers," said Rajendra Singh, known as the Waterman of India for his water conservation efforts.
He, like other environmentalists, is strongly opposed to the construction of the capital city of Amaravati in the flood planes of the Krishna river.
They have started a river conservation tour from Hamsala Deevi to Bijapur, demanding freedom for rivers, whose natural flows are constantly being constricted, with disastrous consequences.
Mr Singh flagged off the tour at Durga Ghat near Prakasam Barrage on Wednesday morning. He said that they are starting from here because the state government has decided to construct a concrete jungle here by destroying the beautiful river to build the capital city.
He said that Chandrababu Naidu and his government are not listening to the suggestions of environmentalists, and Amaravati will witness huge flooding in future.
"We have started this tour for the freedom of rivers in the country on the eve of the 70th Independence Day. We are conducting 115 rallies of similar kind. Nature lovers from various fields will join hands in this tour which ends at Bijapur on August 15," said Mr Singh, a Magsaysay Award winner.
Professor Vikram Sony, former director of Delhi Jalamandali, said that river beds and banks should only be used for cultivation and they are not suitable for bearing concrete structures.
"This is a very precious river bed and it is not man-made. No one can replace this heritage structure. If we disturb the natural flow of the river Krishna and occupy its river bed, we will cause disaster. Many incidents in recent times in Chennai, Mumbai and other cities have taught us a lesson," said Mr Sony.
Former MP Vadde Sobhanadreeswara Rao, who is supporting the movement, said that the government has destroyed the livelihood of lakhs of farmers and has misled the National Green Tribunal (NGT) with reports from Tata Consultancy Services. He urged the government to respond fast and protect the Krishna river.