India: The Indus or Sindhu, a major river flowing through Pakistan around which the great Indus Valley Civilisation flourished, re-entered India. It is feeding a lake near Ahmedabad known as Nal Sarovar. With the help of satellite images, Rohan Thakkar, a postgraduate student of climate change working on the water bodies of Gujarat, made this discovery.
Experts believe that the river may have shifted course after an earthquake in 1819. The latest development in its course will hugely benefit the water-starved Kutch region as well as the Bhal region adjoining Ahmedabad district, Gujarat, India.
Rohan’s father Dr P. S. Thakkar, a scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), said the river started flowing into India last year when the Indus river basin was heavily flooded. “Heavy rains had left the river basin along with the Mancher, Hemal and Kalri lakes inundated and people breached several canal heads,” Thakkar added.
In about four days, water entered the Great Rann of Kutch. “Same thing happened this year too. In September, water from the river reached the Great Rann of Kutch,” Thakkar continued. After inundating the Great Rann, water reached the Little Rann and then Viramgam near Ahmedabad on September 19, 2011.
“The water entered India near Vighokot in the Great Rann of Kutch and also through the old Naraka course, through which the Indus used to flow into the Great Rann of Kutch before the 1819 earthquake,” Thakkar explained.
“We do have evidence that there were habitations in the Rann of Kutch and the Indus flowed in this area but majorly shifted its course westwards after the great earthquake in 1819.”
In addition, Rohan said, “While these are signs that the river is steadily shifting its course, siltation in the Indus river basin too could be responsible for the change in course.”
Source: India Today