Scientific evidence and information is being collected by the government to detect and revive underground water sources of river Saraswati which disappeared long ago, Lok Sabha was informed today.
"I have asked the groundwater recharge authorities to collect information, detect and revive the water sources and the roots of the river. Saraswati is not a myth but scientific evidence is now available to prove its existence," Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti said.
She was responding to a calling attention motion moved by BJP member Rattan Lal Kataria on the need to set up a Saraswati Research Institute for "revival of the river Saraswati".
Bharti said a lot of research has been done on the river, particularly in Gujarat.
She said there were several rivers named Saraswati which emanated from the Himalayas, including one which mingled with the Triveni in Allahabad, another with Mandakini and the third with Alaknanda rivers.
There was also a river with the same name that passed through Haryana to Rajasthan and Gujarat, she said and urged members to share any information with her Ministry so that the groundwater sources could be used.
Raising the issue, Katariya said Saraswati river was a symbol of India's cultural heritage and part of the civilisation that grew up in Mohenjodaro and Harappa as it flowed from the Himalayas along with the other historic river, Indus. However, the river dried up due to natural reasons.
He said drilling of deep wells in parts of Gujarat had shown the existence of sweet water, which proved the existence of water flow.
Maintaining that research work on the river would also act as a search for lost civilisations and habitations, Katariya demanded the establishment of an authority to carry on the research.