Conservation of nature must: Dr Jakhar

While addressing the concluding function of the three-day International River Festival at Bandrabhan in Hoshangabad district today, the Governor stressed the need for conservation of nature and environment for human existence. Underlining the importance of rivers as lifeline of humanity he stressed the need for maximum plantation for their preservation. Expressing regret and displeasure over pollution of great rivers like Ganga, Yamuna and Narmada, the Governor said that development of urban areas should not be at the cost of nature and rivers. Lauding the River Festival the Governor described it as a significant step towards conservation of environment and welfare of humanity. He expressed concern over animosity and terrorism growing in the name of religion and said that the people of India should shun it. They should tread the righteous path shown by sacred books and saints and co-exist peacefully. The Minister for Public Relations Laxmikant Sharma said that the River Festival organised by Narmada Samagra is important for entire country. He stressed the need for proper documentation and compilation of the papers presented by experts during the three-day festival. He said that the Public Relations Department would publish their compilation as a document for future use. The conclusions of the deliberations held by experts during the River Festival were issued in the form of Bandrabhan Declaration. A draft action plan prepared by Narmada Samagra for year 2008-09 was also released on the occasion. The convener of International River Festival and secretary of Narmada Samagra Samiti Anil Dave explained its content. The Bandrabhan Declaration states that every river has her own ground, her own flow-path and her own ethos, which are independent of administrative units. The basis of studies, works and efforts about rivers should, therefore, be river basin. The path of flow of rivers is created by their relentless efforts from time immememorial. An international river bank should be set up to maintain an account of the inflow and outflow of all the rivers. There should be a balance sheet to maintain a vigil on the mobilization and expenditure of the resources for rivers. Also sub-accounts should be maintained for direct and indirect income and expenditure on rivers. It should have complete information of the past and present of rivers and also future ideal shape. There should be a comprehensive thinking on utilization of river waters. Relationship between rivers and people is an important factor. When this love between rivers and people dries up due to oblivion of culture and civilization then a river is reduced to merely a water body. There is need to further cement the bonds of love between the two. Anil Dave informed that an annual action plan for year 2008-09 has been prepared by Narmada Samagra on the basis of Bandrabhan Declaration. It seeks to ensure dense plantation within 200 meter radius of both the banks of Narmada river. Three awards would be given for outstanding works on the rivers in Narmada basin on minor, medium and major levels. The highest award would be given to those working on minor river systems. Under Narmada Samagra Yojana coins of alloy would be provided to the ghats of Narmada river for casting in the river. These coins would comprise 96 percent copper and four percent silver. This would help keep Narmada pollution free. Besides, detergent less soap would be made available to reduce the river pollution level. The next River Festival would be organized in 2010 at the same venue. The president of Narmada Samagra Amritlal Begad delivered the welcome address. The chairman of Pollution Control Board Dr. S.P. Gautam proposed a vote of thanks. Member of Parliament Sartaj Singh; MLA Madhukar Rao Harde; chairman of District Cooperative Bank Yogendra Singh Mandloi; Shiv Choube, former MLA Seetasharan Sharma; officers, public representatives and participants from within and outside the country were present on the occasion.