Bastar (Chhattisgarh): A 14-day long foot-march by social activists and residents of Bastar demanding revival of river Indravati ended here on Tuesday. The protestors have been demanding the release of water from Katiguda dam in Odisha to the Indravati river as per the water sharing agreement between the two states.
The fast-depleting water level of the river, which is considered the lifeline of Bastar, has been a cause of serious concern for the region.
The march that began on May 8 from Bhejapadar village situated along the Chhattisgarh-Odisha border saw participants raising slogans and holding placards that read ‘Indravati Bachao’ (Save Indravati).
Speaking to ANI, a local said: “It is a ‘satyagraha’; we demand that the administration should look into the matter as early as possible.”
Expressing concern over the future of the water body, one of the protestors said, “The level of water is going down every year. This is due to the indifferent attitude of the Odisha government. Chhattisgarh is not getting the required volume of water to save Indravati, which is almost dry in several stretches.”
“The depleting water level in the river has created a major water crisis for the villagers. It is getting worse day by day. The forest, villages and in fact the whole ecosystem along river Indravati is in trouble,” said a social activist.
“The administration must act now. The river Indravati flows in a 250 km long stretch in Bastar and is the lifeline of almost 200 villages which are dependent on its water. People are supporting Indravati Bachao Abhiyan with full vigour,” said another protester.
It is worth mentioning that Indravati is a stream of the river Godavari. Its starting point is in the ‘ghats’ of Dandakaranya range, at a hilltop village Mardiguda of Thuamula Rampur block in Kalahandi district of Odisha.