By Arun Kumar SinghIn an unprecedented move, the prime minister on Thursday asked the government to declare all the four rivers of the Dangal, Kutch, Dandapur, and Jharkhand as ‘separated’ and not part of the country’s ‘Great India’.
The move comes after a government survey found that Dandipur, the longest river in India, and Kuchkum, the lowest, have been reduced to less than 1.3 square km in area, which is also the size of Kolkata.
The rivers, which stretch for an area of about 2.5 million sq km, have a total length of about 590 kilometres, and are the only rivers of India with no navigable channels.
The state-run rivers are also the only ones that have no designated river banks and rivers can be navigated only by boat.
The Prime Minister, in a letter to the prime ministers of all states, said he was asking the ministers to declare these rivers as “separated” in the form of an official map.
He said this would help the states, “to carry out the programme of the National Capital Territory, which will make them aware of the fact that these rivers are not part, but part of India”.
The Prime Ministers office said the two rivers, Dangali and Kechkari, are not in the jurisdiction of the central government, and that the two states have taken steps to create a navigable channel and waterway.
The states have also begun construction of a waterway, a senior official said.