Narmada cannot be allowed to become a ‘nullah’ like the Yamuna in Delhi – says Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan

Releases Down To Earth Hindi magazine (Narmada cover) with environmentalist Sunita Narain; assures his government will implement the measures recommended by the magazine

Panel Discussion on language journalism organised in the city by New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment

Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh), March 24, 2017: Narmada is the lifeline of Madhya Pradesh. Madhya Pradesh will live and prosper if Narmada lives – chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan said here today while releasing the latest edition of Down To Earth magazine in Hindi. The state of the river Narmada is what the magazine’s April 1 issue covers in depth. Noted environmental thinker and activist Sunita Narain, who is the editor of the magazine, was also present on the occasion.

Down To Earth’s investigative cover story on the Narmada has found that the river is now struggling to cope with multiple threats – some old, some new. Big dams, inflow of domestic sewage, sand mining, and the state’s plans to exploit the river and its resources may spell doom for this lifeline of Madhya Pradesh, says the magazine (see link below to access the entire cover story on Narmada – including a detailed interview with the chief minister). 

The chief minister, however, assured that his government will follow and implement the recommendations that the magazine has listed with respect to management of the river and its waters. “We cannot let the Narmada turn into a drain like the Yamuna has in Delhi,” he said. Narain lauded the chief minister for his interest in and efforts towards keeping the Narmada clean and flowing.

Later in the day, Narain joined a panel of senior journalists from Madhya Pradesh at a Panel Discussion on ‘Is language journalism ‘down to earth?’ The other panellists included Abhilash Khandekar, environmental journalist and member, Madhya Pradesh State Wildlife Board; Chandrakant Naidu, veteran journalist and former editor of various regional editions of The Indian Express and Hindustan Times; and Rakesh Diwan, senior journalist. The panel discussion was organised by New Delhi-based research and advocacy body Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), which helps publish Down To Earth.

Down To Earth magazine, which is published from Delhi in Hindi and English, is celebrating 25 years of its existence. It is one of India’s most credible and respected publications with the focus on issues of environment, development and science. 

"Down To Earth has constantly striven and succeeded in addressing the developmental and environmental issues that confront us today. And we do not want language to become a barrier to a whole section that seeks research-backed, processed and credible information for an informed opinion on subjects that touch their lives every day. That is the philosophy with which we launched Down To Earth’s Hindi edition,” said Narain.

Talking about the magazine and the relevance of language journalism in the current context, its managing editor Richard Mahapatra said: “Compared to English journalism, language journalism and vernacular media – we think – has its ears more to the ground, and is more down to earth. However, with environment becoming a mainstream subject, language journalism might be facing a grave danger of losing this very quality of being down to earth, of losing its depth. This is what we have to debate and reach an understanding on.”


  • For more details, contact Souparno Banerjee, Media Resource Centre, CSE, 09910864339,

  • For the complete cover story on Narmada, please click here