G L Khajuria
The Jammu city which is known as City of Temples throughout India for its monumental, archaeological and historical importance is now losing its pristine grandeur and glory due to various factors.
Over the years, the Tawi which is the life line for Jammu city is depleting and its nectar clear water which perennially flowed is now losing its majestic look with every moment At one point of time, people in and around the vicinity of Jammu used to subsist on water. The same case is nowhere in sight now. Rather its flowing water brings along with it filth and debris from Nagrota and other areas.
The source of the Tawi river is “Kailash Kund” and after taking turns and twists all along the route it takes in its lap various tributaries varied catchments and reaches the base of “Suez Dhar”whose entire catchment drains into the Tawi at ‘Seri and from Seri, the river encompasses various micro to macro watersheds of Lati. Dhona, Jhaked, Marotihi, Koi and Gharian on its both sides and then it reaches Sudhmahadev where small rivulets confluence down below Sudmahadev.
The river thence onwards moves serpentine and the entire catchments of Southern areas of Patnitop, Kud, Nathatop on the one hand and ‘Jug Dhar’ and its south eastern aspect on the other hand drains into the Tawi river.
Down below, the river loses its water table and is hugely encountered by garbage dumps, debris and other waste material of unprecedented nature . How this nectar of old golden days is to be kept clean is the clarion call of the day? And then what steps are warranted to restore back this most reverential river to its glory is doubtlessly, a paramount need of the hour.
Some suggestions :
All out efforts are warranted to be taken to remove encroachments around the river Tawi and in this context the Forests, Revenue, JDA and MCD and other NGO’s would have to come to the front.
The exercise needs to be initiated right from Nagrota downwards upto Ware House Belicharana and Soura Chak on both the banks of the river so that the sylvan surroundings of the Tawi is restored back to its pristine beauty.
Discourage garbage dumping
The tippers, samall carriers loaded with waste, filth, debris, ply thence and other non-biodegradable wastes of all hues are dumped into the river making it filth-ridden. These waste materials are mostly an outcome of the marriages and other ceremonial occasions and the same is true of waste material of hospitals and medicare centers. The safest and healthiest way out is to recycle this waste material.
Catchment area treatment
All the catchments right from the origin of the Tawi , down below Ranbirsingpura warrants to be treated by way of massive afforestation works, coupled with soil conservation works. In the forestry parlance, the campaign should start from top to bottom as the barren tops do not benefit of vegetative cover unless these are well clothed. And in achieving this mission a multidisciplinary approach on the part of forests , soil conservation, agriculture, horticulture and sericulture departments has to taken.
Does anyone of us claim that Tawi river is having clustered service stations for vehicles which of all hues intrude into it for cleansing? And where have the concerned authorities gone? They probably seem to have gone under hibernation or deep slumber. So, at this juncture all -out efforts are needed to be taken to put a blanket ban on this ugly practice which otherwise tantamount to desertification of river Tawi – a pride of Jammu.
Some natural springs and ponds do exist on the left bank of the Tawi river where there is ample scope of fish culture and the department of fisheries have to take a forward stride.
Massive afforestation along the Tawi banks
Arboriculture alongside the Tawi shall provide picturesque panorama to the people.
On the left bank of the river exists idol of Lord Hanuman amongst a cluster of many temples. The place is also known as ‘Hari Ki Pouri” where people of all hues throng for holy dip on the occasion of pious days. In case these steps are taken, there is hope that the Tawi will flow majestically once again.
(The author is former Dy. Constructor by Forest J&K)
G L Khajuria