Experts from Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University and IIT-Delhi will submit a plan for restoration and development of the dirty Yamuna banks in 30 days.
The Centre has decided not to implement a riverfront development plan prepared by the Delhi Development Authority and has set up the panel to “critically examine and review” it. The panel will submit its report by October 28.
The National Green Tribunal will monitor the development work and decide the timeframe for the execution of the project after the final plan is submitted.
The panel, formed by the union ministry of environment and forests at the behest of the tribunal, is headed by CR Babu, director emeritus, Centre for Management of Degraded Ecosystems (DU). Professor (retired) Brij Gopal of JNU and professor AK Gosain of IIT-Delhi will be its members.
A note (copy with HT) issued by the national river conservation directorate of the MoEF says: “The panel will suggest steps so that DDA’s plan could be improved keeping in mind the environmental concerns for the river.It will finalise the plan after taking all agencies on board. It will consider the observations of the Supreme Court.”
The DDA’s plan aims to conserve and restore the biodiversity of the Yamuna and integrate it with public recreation spaces that Delhi needs.
The DDA has conducted a study of all natural features and site conditions for the development of the 46-km Yamuna riverbed.
Manoj Misra of NGO Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, on whose petition the tribunal is hearing the case, said, “DDA must think beyond landscaping and concrete structures. We demand adoption of agro-biodiversity to protect the riverbed in the most natural way. Legitimate farmers are the best keepers of the riverbed.”