Kali Bein river in Punjab to have clean water soon after a successful rejuvenation mission

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The 165-km-long Kali Bein river, associated with the life of Sikhism founder Guru Nanak Dev, is set to have clean water flowing in it soon after a successful rejuvenation mission. Environmentalist and MP Balbir Singh Seechewal launched the river rejuvenation mission in 2000 after the rivulet had virtually turned into a drain with waste water and sewerage being discharged into it from towns and villages.

Seechewal’s efforts, with the support of people, included manually cleaning the rivulet and removing hyacinth. Six sewerage treatment plants have been installed in six different locations to check the flow of dirty water into the holy rivulet. The remaining eight villages are currently undergoing work to stop the flow of sewage into the rivulet. The work to install a sewerage treatment plant in Saido Bhulana is under progress.

The “Seechewal model” has been implemented in 39 villages where the sewage water passes through different wells to remove impurities before being taken to a pond and then shifted to fields for irrigating crops through pipes. Seechewal claimed that it helped raise the underground water level and reduce the level of total dissolved solids in water.

The flow of rivulet has not only given a new lease of life to the Kanjli wetland, which attracts a large number of Siberian migratory birds but also helped solve the problem of waterlogging near Budho Barket and Tarkiana villages. Sikhs believe that Guru Nanak Dev stayed at Sultanpur Lodhi on the bank of Kali Bein for more than 14 years and attained enlightenment after taking a dip in the rivulet.

Seechewal’s efforts have been well recognised, and the late president APJ Abdul Kalam had applauded him and had visited his village in 2006 to see his work. Seechewal, known as “Eco Baba” and hailed as one of the top 30 ‘Heroes of the Environment’ in the world by the Time magazine, said the river rejuvenation work is nearing completion, and by November, clean water will be flowing in it.

In conclusion, the successful rejuvenation mission of the Kali Bein river by Seechewal has been a significant step towards the restoration of the natural ecosystem, providing clean water, and preserving the cultural heritage of the Sikhs. The mission’s success demonstrates the power of community-led initiatives and inspires people to take similar steps towards conserving the environment.

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