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| Last Updated:: 30/05/2016

Exploitation turns Chambal into a rivulet










After unprecedented heat wave conditions and exploitation of water, Chambal River -- the lifeline of north-western Madhya Pradesh-- has shrunk into a thin rivulet in Madhya Pradesh and can simply be crossed by jumping across the water.

Home to endangered species of gharial (Gavialis gangeticu) and dolphins, the shrinking river has forced them to survive in deep pools in the downstream of the river.

About 900 metre wide river has shrunk to just 12 feet, said Rishikesh Sharma, research officer at National Chambal Ghariyal Sanctuary in Morena. "This is a critical stage for any river. It is the result of intense heat wave in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh leading to evaporation of water besides over exploitation of the water body," Sharma who has been working for the conservation of gharial in the sanctuary. "I have noticed that dolphins, gharial, various species of turtle have migrated to deep pools and gorges in the downstream," he said. In Sheopur, Morena and Bhind the river has not only shrunk to few feet in width, water level is shallow as it flows down further downstream and meets Yamuna at Pachnada - a confluence of five rivers- Kuwari, Pahuj, Yamuna, Chambal and Sindh.



This point is situated near Etawah in UP bordering Bhind. Superintendent of the national Chambal sanctuary JP Sharma said, "at some places in the sanctuary where the river was several feet deep the dept is barely 1 or 2 feet, now."


Rajeev Tomar, wildlife warden in the Chambal sanctuary in Dholpur - Rajasthan told TOI, "More than 300 villages and cites including Dholpur and Bharatpur are getting water from Chambal which stops flowing at Kota after a huge dam constructed over it." From Kota to about 18 kms downstream till Keshwarpatan in Rajasthan the river is dry, then Parvati River joins it. Whatever water you see flowing further is actually Parvati water and not of Chambal, he said. Few years ago, the Wildlife Institute of India had carried out a research work and revealed that every year .3% water is reduced in Chambal.


He said that 250 projects were proposed but later authorities dropped the idea of these projects. In its ongoing efforts to conserve gharial, forest department collected 200 eggs of the reptile and were taken to the Deori gharial rearing centre in Morena and hatchlings have begun.



Under the grow and release programme of endangered species, these hatchlings will be reared at the centre till they are 3-year-old.







Source: Times of India