Odisha: Thousands of women demand Chitrotpala river restoration

Once a perennially-flowing water body, Chitrotpala now facing existing threat to its existence

Bhubaneswar: Thousands of women on Saturday congregated on the banks of river Chitrotpala at Dhasanapari in Odisha’s Kendrapara district demanding rejuvenation of the Chitrotpala river.

The women, who performed Alati (puja) on the bank of Chitrotpala, said the local ecology had seriously degenerated as the river, which was perennially-flowing water body two decades ago, dries up during the non-monsoon period.

The female folks alongside thousands of men, attended a huge public meeting organised by ‘Namami Chitrotpala,’ a non-political forum where river experts, engineers, social activists and panchayat representatives shared their thoughts on the necessity for rejuvenation of the river.

Dr Bratendi Jena, a noted river expert who worked with the Union government’s ‘Namami Ganga’ project, threw lights on socio-economic, cultural and religious importance of the river.

“Almost all civilisations developed on the banks of rivers and river valleys. Many civilisations have gone into oblivion when the rivers on the banks where they lived dried up due to various reasons. Hence, we need to rejuvenate Chitrotpala river,” said Dr. Jena.

Chittaranjan Sahoo, the president of Namami Chitrotpala, while citing religious and cultural perspective of the river,

Quoting scriptures and citing mythological instances, Mr Sahoo said the river was as old as the human civilisations. He mentioned Mahapurusha Achyutananda and many other saints and sages who set up ashrams on the banks of Chitrotpala and preached virtues to people.

The Namami Chitrotpala chief had earlier met senior officials of the state government and requested them to take appropriate steps for restoring the river’s original health. He also informed the gathering that the state government had taken positive note of the demand for rejuvenation of the river.

Santosh Swain, a river expert and technocrat who served in top positions of Odisha water resources department, stressed on construction of In-Stream Storage Structure (ISS) in the river for filling the river.

Once a perennially-flowing water body, Chitrotpala river is now facing existing threat to its existence

Noted social activists Bhagaban Jena, Prakash Jena, A K Sahoo and Subrat Mishra also addressed the gathering.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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