The Union Water Ministry has excavated an old, dried-up river in Prayagraj (formerly Allahabad) that linked the Ganga and Yamuna rivers. The aim is to develop it as a potential groundwater recharge source.

The “ancient buried river” is around 4 km wide, 45 km long and consisted of a 15-metre-thick layer buried under soil.

Who made the discovery?
The discovery was made in December 2018 by a team of scientists from the CSIR-NGRI (National Geophysical Research Institute) and the Central Groundwater Board during a helicopter-borne geophysical survey covering the Prayagraj and Kaushambi region in Uttar Pradesh.

These paleochannels reveal the course of rivers that have ceased to exist. A palaeochannel, or paleochannel, is a remnant of an inactive river or stream channel that has been filled or buried by younger sediment. The discovery is considered as an evidence that the mythological Saraswati river did indeed exist.

Source: The Hindu