A government-constituted expert committee has found that the so far considered mythical Saraswati River actually existed. Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said the government will take action on the report, which according to her, ‘cannot be challenged’.
“We have reached a conclusion that river Saraswati existed, it flowed. It originated in the Himalayas and met gulf at the western sea,” Professor K S Valdiya, who led the panel, said while handing over the report to the government, reports PTI.
According to a senior Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) official, Saraswati passed through Pakistan before meeting Western Sea through Rann of Kutch and was approximately 4,000 km in length. One-third of the river stretch fell in present-day Pakistan. The longer, two-third stretch measuring nearly 3000 km in length fell in India, the official claimed.
In its report, the seven-member committee has stated that the river had two branches: western and eastern. The Himalayan-born Satluj ‘of the past’, which flowed through the channels of present-day Ghaggar-Patialiwali rivulets, represents the western branch of the ancient river.
On the other hand, it said, Markanda and Sarsuti (corruption of Saraswati) represented the western branch of Saraswati, known as Tons-Yamuna.
During its six-month research period, the committee studied piles of sediments, their shapes and features which appeared to have been brought by a ‘big river’ and are reminiscent to ones found in present-day Ghaggar, Ganga and Yamuna.
“At some places, there is 30-ft deep sand layer (in the palaeochannels), at some places the width of the palaeochannels is five km and is filled with water.”
“This suggests that the relatively smaller rivers of today, like Ghaggar and its tributary Dangri, would not have brought such sediment. It must have been brought in by a big, flowing river,” Valdiya said.
In the report, the committee also observed that constituent minerals of the palaeochannels, at several spots, have come from catchment areas of Sutlej and Yamuna and from Greater and Lesser Himalaya.