New Report: Deccan Chronicle,
Hyderabad, Aug. 29, 1998
Ambitious project to trace river
New Delhi, Aug. 28: The Centre has embarked on an ambitious project to trace Saraswati,the
mythological river believed to be flowing underground and forming the Sangam in confluence
with the Ganga and the Jamuna.
If the latest scientific observations are confirmed, then the river Saraswati could still
be flowing under the deserts of Rajasthan, most probably somewhere near the Indo-Pakistan
The Central Ground Water Board is launching a massive project next month with the
assistance of the Bhaba Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, Physical Reserach Laboratory,
Ahmedabad, Indian Space Research Organisation and Rajasthan State Ground Water Board.
The attempt to trace the holy river is being launched from Longowala, which became part of
the sub-continents history during the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war.
Starting from the far western part of the state, the project is expected to cost Rs 1.25
We hope to complete the project in two years. The first phase of the project
covering Western Jaisalmar will be completed in four months, CGWB Jaipur regional
director S C Sharma said.
The project, claimed to be the final culmination of a series of observations made in the
last 10 years by the CGWB, is the most scientific attempt in Indian history to trace the
holy river, which a group of historians say was the craddle of a Vedic culture.
Sharma said the hydro-geological surveys in the past 10 years by the Central and State
ground water boards, and the satellite imageries in the last three years have shown
signature marks of the path of some hidden flowing systems in
Incorporating this with historical works, especially a paper published in 1968 on
Saraswati, the board and other experts believe that the river could have been flowing
somewhere in the state. The CGWB authorities have identified eight areas in Rajasthan
where the signatures have been found for further investigations.
While the board will carry out the bore hole electrical logging, BARC will
carry out dating of water to judge how old it is, and the Physical Laboratory will
determine the sediments in different depths.
Specialised atomic tests, further investigations, and a detailed Lytho Chart could finally
throw light on the hidden river, says Mr Sharma, a former UN consultant and a senior
hydro-geologist who will be overseeing the entire project.
The board will employ a costly Geophysical Resistivity equipment recently
imported from Japan for the project. A group of historians have claimed in the recent past
that by the river there could have been a pre-Harappan culture which is the mother
of a matured Harappan culture.
This group of historians, who claim Aryans were not invaders, wants to call the Indus
Valley civilization as the Saraswati Civlization. The particular group of
Indian historians also question the claims of Mortimer Wheeler, who excavated Mohenjodaro
and Harappa, that light skinned Aryans invaded from Central Asia destroying Indus
Research (to find Sarswati) is one part of the project. If there are hidden channels
of rechargable water then it could be of great use to a state like Rajasthan for more
water supply, says Mr Sharma, refusing that the project has any politics to it.