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Ganga to go dry at Har-Ki-Pauri for about a month
Haridwar | Monday, Oct 15 2012 IST
 
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The upper Ganga canal will remain closed for cleaning and repair work from midnight of October 15 to November 12.

The Uttar Pradesh government, which still exercises control over the canal and other irrigation related projects in Uttarakhand, has decided to close the canal to clean shoaling from the bed of the canal and for repair and maintenance purposes. The closure necessitates diversion of the stream of Ganga at Har-Ki-Pauri into Neel Dhara from Bhimgoda barrage, resulting in scanty flow of water of the holy river at Braham Kund at Har-Ki-Pauri. Priests and business communities are holding protests against diversion of the flow of Ganga at this time when the festival season is in full swing and a large number of pilgrims and tourists, specially from Gujarat and Bengal, are expected to congregate in the city.

'As per our agreement with the government, we have asked that at least 1,000 cusecs of water for purposes of performing of rites at Har-Ki-Pauri should be ensured in Ganga. Any affront to the Hindu sentiments cannot be tolerated,' said Purshottam Sharma Gandhiwadi, executive president of Ganga Sabha.

'The closure of the holy river in Haridwar at this time will hit the business community. It should be done after Diwali when the yatra season is over,' said Suresh Gulati, president of City Vyapar Mandal.

However, the farming community has a different view. 'After the monsoon season, October is the best month for closure of canal for desilting, since at this time, the irrigation requirements are minimum,' said Vijendra Chauhan, a farmer activist of the district.

'In November, sowing operations start for Rabi crops, for which farmers need a lot of water. Farmers from Haridwar to Kanpur mainly depend on the canal for irrigation,' he added. The closure will also hit drinking water supply in the national capital region, including parts of Delhi and Noida.

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