Thursday 9 July 2015


Welcome Speech by Shri.James Varghese IAS, Principal Secretary

The seminar on ‘Revival and Rejuvenation of Bharathapuzha River Basin’, organized by the State Level Nodal Agency of IWMP Kerala and Rural Development Department was conducted on 9th June, 2015 at Mascot Hotel, Thiruvananthapuram. The State Level Nodal Agency (SLNA) in its meeting held on 23.03.2015 had decided to launch a massive program to Rejuvenate Bharathapuzha with co-operation and integration of various government department, agencies, various schemes etc. The seminar is mainly intended to obtain valuable opinion from expert in the field of revival of dying rivers; especially from Dr. Rajendra Singh, the Magsaysay Award Winner to develop a strategy and protocol for the revival of Bharathapuzha to bring back its past glory.

Inauguration  by Sri. K.C. Joseph, Hon’ble Minister Rural Development
In the inaugural session, Shri. James Varghese IAS, Principal Secretary, LSGD delivered the welcome speech and Shri. K. C. Joseph, Hon’ble Minister for Rural Development inaugurated the function. The Chief Guest, Magsaysay Award & Stockholm Water Prize winner Dr. Rajendra Singh, delivered keynote address.  Dr.Ommen V. Ommen, Chairman, Bio-diversity Board, Smt.P.Marykutty IAS, District Collector, Palakkad and Smt.M.S.Jaya IAS District Collector, Thrissur have expressed their views and ideas for revival and rejuvenation of Bharathapuzha river basin.  Shri. K. V. Mohan Kumar IAS, Commissioner for Rural Development & CEO, SLNA delivered the vote of thanks.                                                                 

Dr. Rajendra Singh, the well known water conservationist from Rajasthan shared his experience in rejuvenating rivers of India, especially Arwari River of Rajasthan. At the outset, Dr. Rajendra Singh recalled his journey through the Bharathapuzha river basin in 2009 and experienced that the basin is facing many challenges as if he faced in the revival of rivers in his state Rajasthan. He had also suggested a four level solution for rejuvenation of the River after analyzing and evaluating the present scenario of the basin and is enlisted as follows:- 
1.   Utilization of indigenous traditional wisdom and awareness creation among the community.  
2.   Conduct a point to point journey along the basin with officials of concerned line departments, elected representatives, school students, political leaders, activists, and leaders of community based organizations and other stakeholders.
3.      Rejuvenation of existing water harvesting structures 
4.      Ensure community participation (Community/ Village level implementation strategy)
For achieving the four level solutions he had suggested to follow the below steps:-

Dr. Rajendra Singh Sharing his Experience

1.  Analyze present situation of the river;   exchange the knowledge among all types of stakeholders and to decide location specific action plans.
2.  Ensure community participation which is the key to success
3.  An action plan for five years should be envisaged and developed.
4.  The first six months should be devoted for awareness creation among people.
5.   A detailed action plan should be prepared and get approved by Gramasabhas. 

The inaugural session is followed by technical session in which four papers were presented viz.,
1. ‘Save Bharathapuzha – General perspective by Sri. K. V. Ramanujan Thampi, Technical Expert, IWMP,
2. ‘Ground Water  Condition in Bharathapuzha River Basin’ – Sri. Thomas Scaria, Senior Hydrogeologist, Ground Water Department.
3.   ‘Soil Erosion Hazards in Bharathapuzha River Basin’ – Dr. Anu Mary Philip, Deputy Director (i/c) IWDMK
4. ‘Status Paper on Bharathapuzha River Basin’ – Sri. A. Nizamudeen, Commissioner (i/c), KSLUB