E C O L O G Y
REIMAGINING OUR LOST RIVERS
Reclaiming our rivers could initiate a new imagination of Indian cities and begin a process of conserving their bio-diversity.
Right from ancient civilisations, rivers have been the lifeline of our cities and towns. Mohenjadaro, Harappa, Egypt, and China had thrived alongside fertile river banks. The river water was used for irrigation, drinking, commerce, and transport. As early as the 18th century, communities from Madras had travelled by boat to Mahabalipuram. The entire water system was an intricate inter-linked ecosystem — rivers, rivulets, canals, lakes, and temple tanks led to the Adyar Creek, which finally joined the sea.
In cities today, large amounts of sewage and garbage are constantly disposed of into the rivers and this has transformed them into sewage canals. Industrial waste too finds its way into rivers. The issue is more complex than we assume. The need of the hour is a paradigm shift in how we value our rivers. Rivers in India have been sacred precincts but they are gradually losing their significance against the hectic pace of urban life.