ONGC to revive project to dig out Saraswati at Adi Badri

 ONGC to revive project to dig out Saraswati at Adi Badri

Adi Badri (Ambala): After remaining suspended for eight years, the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) will revive the project to dig out the ancient Saraswati by drilling two borewells at Adi Badri and Kapal Mochan where the much-revered river is believed to have originated.

The oil exploration giant has signed an agreement with the Haryana Government under its Corporate Social Responsibility initiative to revive the river after satellite imagery revealed a 1,600-km stretch of Saraswati basin between Adi Badri and Dwarka on the Western coast.

Those working on the project have also identified two sites near Chappar village on the Ambala-Yamunanagar border where huge reservoirs of underground water were found. These are believed to be the river’s underground channels. In the light of this, ONGC is planning to drill similar borewells at these spots to tap the river’s underground channel, satellite imagery of which was provided by Haryana Space Application and Research Centre, HAU Campus, Hisar.

Kuldeep Prakash, group general manager and head Knowledge Management Group at ONGC headquarters, visited Adi Badri along with Vaibhav Garg, general secretary of Saraswati Nadi Shodh Sansthan, an NGO that has been working for the revival of the river for the last two decades. They took stock of the ground reality and narrowed down the location for drilling two borewells to tap Saraswati’s palaeochannels. Prakash undertook a detailed study of all sites related to the river in Adi Badri and confirmed the project would soon get underway.

The Archaeological Survey of India has already conducted excavations at some sites that were identified as ABR-I, ABR-II and ABR-III. The state government got water-retaining structures constructed at different points on the Saraswati Channel at Adi Badri, which would help revive the river once it is dug out.

Vaibhav Garg said people had begun to accept the fact that the mighty Saraswati once flowed in this region, paving way for the emergence of ancient civilizations along its basin.

He said it was in 1985 that renowned historian Dr VS Wakankar of Ujjain took along a team of historians, archaeologists and photographers and travelled between Dwarka and Adi Badri to rediscover the Saraswati’s course. “Following his initiative, others also started taking interest in the existence of the river and persistent efforts finally led to signing of an agreement between the state government and the ONGC,” Garg said.

He said now that a BJP government was at the Centre and in the state, they were hopeful the project would to taken to its logical conclusion. “A few years back, water suddenly gushed out of the ground at some sites in Adi Badri, which further consolidated the belief that the river existed here,” he said. The NGO had urged the previous government to set up a Saraswati Development Authority to inject life into the project.


Key to history


  • The ONGC will drill two borewells at Adi Badri and Kapal Mochan where the much-revered river is said to have originated
  • It would also explore a 77-km stretch passing through Adi Badri, Thanesar, Sandhauli, Bhirrana and Hansi

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