A historic River in West Bengal, India, named Anjana, is now turned into a dead canal
The novel laureate Rabindranath Tagore, one of Bengali literature’s famous poets, once wrote a poem titled “Anjana nadi tire (At the bank of the River Anjana)”, glorifying the beauty of the Anjana River. Over time, that Anjana River now turned into a dead canal. Anjana lost her youth long ago due to a lack of proper maintenance. The river is now almost extinct.
The River Anjana is a tributary of Jalangi river, the main part of Badakulla, and situated at Nadia district of West Bengal, India. It’s originated from Jalangi River, at Nagendranaga of Krishnanagar, the district HQ of Nadia, and fall at Churni River at Beshpur, Ranaghat. It’s flow in the middle of Krishnanagar. The river’s length is about 34 kilometers, of which 7 kilometers lies at the Krishnanagar town, which part is almost dried.
The lack of excavation has led to filling out many places. Land grabbers are already occupying some places, cultivating, and even started living in built houses. Moreover, vast areas have dried up due to siltation.
As there was no road in the past, the river was the only media for transportation from Murshidabad to Krishnanagar. At that time, the riverside areas were relatively prosperous. On the one hand, the river provides us transportation, livelihood, food, and a healthy climate; on the other hand, it becomes destructive during floods.
The Anjana River bears witness to the history.Locals believed that Nadiaraj Maharaj Krishnachandra used to reach Murshidabad by boat on the River Anjana. Unfortunately, this historical river has dried up, and now it has the title of the canal, the Anjana canal.
Currently, the remaining portion of the river is also under threat. Due to repeated forcible occupation, the canal has degraded into a ditch. Once Passenger and cargo ships used to travel on which the river in the past, today it became too hard to trace its location.
In 2019, from August 24-25, a two-day march was held to save the Anjana River under Kishor bahini, a Youth Organization of Krishnanagar. The march started from Beshpur, the confluence of Anjana and Churni Rivers. After marched 34 km, it ended at the origin Point of Anjana River from Jalangi River, at Nagendranaga of Kisnanagar.
About 150 youth organizations, including different environmental organizations from different parts of West Bengal and Nadia District, took part in that two-day-long march.
After the colorful inauguration, the first day’s procession ended with a warm welcome with dances and songs of the people of the bank of the river.
Pedestrians take part in the evening cultural program organized at Dogachhi village. Exhibitions and speeches on dance music called for saving the river.
On the morning of the second day, the procession started again. Actor Utpal Ghosh took part in that procession. In Krishnanagar town, several ceremonies and Raksha Bandhan ceremonies were held with the pedestrians. At last, the End ceremony was held at Nagendranagar of Krisnanagar, at the origin Point of Anjana River from Jalangi River. The procession demanded the administration’s initiative to excavate and rehabilitate the Anjana Rver to protect the environment and life.
However, in the meantime, to excavate the river, several small initiatives have been taken, no fruitful results until now.
There is still some hope to save the historical Anjana River from completely dying. The navigability of the canal can restore by removing the occupants and renovating them.
- Daily Ananda Bazar, Kolkata, India.
- ETV, Bangla, India.
- NF NEWS