Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu on Wednesday said Andhra Pradesh would be developed as a model state in protection and revival of rivers.
He said interlinking of rivers is only a temporary solution to water problem but the permanent solution lies in their revival.
He was speaking at ‘Rally for rivers’ organised by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev of Isha Foundation here.
The rally, which reached Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday, was being organised from Kanyakumari to Himalayas covering 16 states to bring awareness among people on protection of rivers.
Naidu said protection of all 20 rivers in coastal Andhra and 19 rivers in Rayalseema was every citizen’s responsibility.
The Chief Minister noted that the rivers are associated with the people’s faith and that their worship is part of the tradition.
“Keeping this in view, we organised Godavari and Krishna pushkarams on grand scale,” he said.
Naidu claimed that the state is ahead in linking of Krishna and Godavari rivers.
As part of the water conservation programme, about 6.20 lakh farm ponds, nearly 57,587 check dams and 40,817 tanks were developed.
Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev expressed concern over depletion of perennial rivers. He noted that several perennial rivers turned as seasonal rivers. He stressed the need for promoting tree-based agriculture and giving up destructive crop pattern.
Describing rivers as national treasure, the Sadguru said the economic planning should give priority for ecological protection. He said that five varieties of fruit bearing plants should be planted in one acre of land in each village to protect the nature and to provide nutrient food to people.
‘Waterman of India’ Rajendra Singh said that encroachments on river embankments should be removed. He said that he would not support the linking of rivers, but extend support to revival of rivers.
Sand artiste Venugopal gave a demonstration of his art stressing the need for protecting rivers.