VIJAYAWADA: Decrying the “blatant violation of rules and encroachment” of Krishna river floodplains by the State government in Guntur district for constructing the capital city, Raman Magsaysay awardee Dr Rajendra Singh has said it is nothing but murder of the river. Speaking to mediapersons here after interacting with farmers of the capital region on Monday, Singh, who is popular as ‘Waterman of India’, said no one has rights over the floodplains other than the river and violating that right is nothing short of destroying the future generations.
Singh said he was pained to see the floodplains of river Krishna being destroyed in the name of development. “How can a city be constructed on a floodplain. It is against the rules of the nature,” he said. “River does not belong to a State and no one has a right to tinker with the river course and floodplains as floodplains are the nurturing element of the river,” he said and added what both State and Central governments are saying with regard to environmental clearance to Amaravati are “big fat lies”.
Long march to protect rivers
Singh said rivers and floodplains have a right to freedom and protecting that right is everyone’s responsibility. “So, we have decided to take out a long march from floodplains of Krishna river in the new Amaravati to Bijapur in Karnataka for saving rivers and floodplains,” he said.The march will commence in Amaravati on August 1 with all those people who are concerned to protect the rivers and floodplains for posterity. It will conclude in Bijapur on August 15 and thereafter for three days from August 16, a meeting of environmental activists, experts and political leaders will be held on the subject of saving rivers and floodplains, he said.
When asked what had farmers of the capital area told him, Singh said all the farmers said they were not ready to part with the lands and were aware of the consequences. “But, they said they are small before the might of the government,” he said. The objective of the march is to tell the farmers that they are not alone if they want to protect their lands and river, he said.