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Reviving Tamsa River

Known for its cultural and religious importance, it was on its banks that Lord Rama is believed to have spent his first night after exile, the Tamsa river in Ayodhya became almost extinct in recent years. But the District Magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha has brought the Tamsa back to life, after battling decades of environmental degradation of this river.
Indian Masterminds Stories

Imagine bringing a near-extinct river back to life. It’s not such an easy task as it may look in first blush, but when you have a gritty officer in charge, such as Mr Anuj Kumar Jha overseeing the operation, the task is bound to complete.

The river in focus is Tamsa; it flows for about 150 kilometre in the Ayodhya district of Uttar Pradesh. This river is also revered for its cultural importance; it’s believed that Lord Rama, immediately after his exile, spent his first night on the banks of Tamsa.

ALMOST KILLED BY POLLUTION AND NEGLECT

But in the recent years, Tamsa bore the brunt of pollutants thrown into its water and also its environmental degradation. It had reached the point of becoming completely extinct when the administration of Ayodhya, led by the DM Mr Jha, stepped and decided to do something about it.

The Tamsa river before rejuvenation

Tamsa originates from village Lakhnipur in the Ayodhya district. the river flows through 77-gram panchayats in 10 blocks. Years of urbanization and encroachment polluted the sacred river. In fact, in the Movai and Rudoli blocks of Ayodhya, the river completely disappeared on a 25-kilometre stretch.

PROJECT TAMSA TAKES OFF

In 2019, the Uttar Pradesh govt launched a scheme to revive the holy river. The Ayodhya district administration, under the leadership of the then district magistrate Anil Kumar Pathak started initiatives. Later on, Mr. Pathak was transferred and new DM Anuj Kumar Jha completed his mission to revive the Tamsa river.

The river after rejuvenation

According to the Ministry of Jal Shakti “the de-silting work of nearly the entire stretch of the river has been completed and about 2 lakh plants have been planted as part of the afforestation component. Besides, while all rainwater streams are being connected to the river to augment flow, all sewage drains merged into the river are being tapped to arrest pollution. Several check dams and other structures have been built at every 5 kilometers that have stopped water logging in farms and enhanced agricultural productivity.”

The river has religious importance, so while renovating it was kept in mind that the places around its banks should remain intact. There were many ancient `ashrams’ in the area from where it flew. Efforts were also made to develop these regions in a “tourist-friendly’’ manner.

REVIVED, FINALLY

The administration’s rejuvenation work has worked like a wonder drug for the dying river. Tamsa is now gushing with life, with increased water flow as well as better groundwater levels in its vicinity.

Ayodhya DM inspecting the work of the river

Moreover, the project to rejuvenate Tams also brought employment to the people as it was linked to MGNREGA. Thousands of laborers from the villages through which the river passes were engaged in different restoration works.

The Minsitry of Jalshakti (Water Resource) appreciated the Tamsa river’s rejuvenation and awarded the Ayodhya district magistrate Anuj Kumar Jha with the first prize for “the best district revival of the river, North in 2019.’


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