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Residents in Jharkhand's Sahibganj anxious over drying Ganges

Sahibganj, Sun, 04 Apr 2010 ANI

Sahibganj (Jharkhand), April 4 (ANI): While millions of devotees are enjoying the holy dip in the Ganges during the ongoing Maha Kumbh, the biggest bathing festival of India, in Uttarakhand's Haridwar city, local residents of Sahibganj in Jharkhand are worried over its receding water level.


Over the years the people here have been witnessing a constant dip in the water-level. And, this has turned the people a worried lot, as the river has receded substantially from its shores and the depth has decreased.


The occurance has posed serious problems to the ferries, which were earlier used to transport trucks across the river.


At many points, the river has become about five to five-and-a-half feet shallow, making it more difficult for a ferry to sail.


"The water is only five feet deep at one point. As you can see there, the water has dried. It never happened before. Where does the water go, we have no idea. The ship needs at least 12-13 feet of deep water but now we have to sail in only three to five feet of water, what can we do? We have no option. There is a lot of damage also. Sometimes the rear fan breaks or sometimes even ships collide," said Bhola Chowdhary, a ferry captain.


The local water resource department has not allegedly reacted to the issue that has further irritated people living near the river basin.


We do not have the earlier records of the water level. Actually, the work is done by CWC (Central Water Commission); they measure the water levels. But in Sahibganj, it is taken only in monsoon season. And during the summer season, where they measure the water level, we do not have any information," said Kamlendra Naraya, Executive Engineer, Water Resource Department.


The river runs through the entire northern and eastern region of the India and is the major source of water for these areas.


The Ganges River Basin is the most populous river basin in the world. Within its 750,000 square kilometers live 400 million people. A large number of people depend on this river for sustenance and transportation. (ANI)


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