HT Correspondent, New Delhi:
An expert panel has told the government that there was evidence to prove that the Saraswati river did exist.
“We have reached a conclusion that Saraswati existed, it flowed. It originated in the Himalayas and met the gulf at the Western Sea,” professor KS Valdiya, who led the panel, said while handing over the report to the government.
Quoting the professor, a PTI report said the river passed through Haryana, Rajasthan and north Gujarat, land texture of which was studied by the panel. The seven-member team concluded that Saraswati was approximately 4,000-km long and passed through Pakistan before meeting Western Sea through the Rann of Kutch.
Union water resources minister Uma Bharti, who received the report on Saturday, said, “This river was once upon a time the lifeline of the north-western states of India and a vibrant series of civilisations from the Mahabharat period to Harappa flourished on the banks of this river.”
She emphasised there was no doubt on the findings of the report that was authored by eminent geologists. Awarded the Padma Shree in 2007 by the UPA government and Padma Bhushan in 2015, Prof Valdiya has been researching the river for years and has written two books on it. The report comes a year after the Haryana government claimed to have discovered the river at Mughalwali village, 250km from the national capital, where a strong current of underground water was found at the depth of seven feet.
The minister added the report, which would also be submitted to the cabinet, would be studied by the Central Ground Water Board “for its optimum use”.