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HindustanTimes Mon,14 Jul 2014

Involve communities to save rivers: Experts

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 01, 2013
First Published: 23:18 IST(1/3/2013) | Last Updated: 23:20 IST(1/3/2013)

Involvement of communities along the banks - Yamuna for India or Thames for the United Kingdom- is very necessary for the success of restorating rivers, experts said on Friday.

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The experts also expressed the confidence that the biologically dead Yamuna can be revived if the activities to restore the river benefit the riparian communities.

Results of a 2011-13 twinning programme were announced at a conference on sharing of experiences and lessons from the Thames-Ganges twinning project, jointly run by Peace Institute, Delhi, WWF-India and Thames River Trust (TRT), United Kingdom. The project was funded by TRT through money from its 2010 Theiss International Riverprize for Thames restoration.

Nadi Mitra Mandal (NMM) was an important component of local participation - 10 units along the entire length of Yamuna of the project.

"The NMMs focused on non-point sources of threats and carried out several activities such as Gharial reintroduction, turtle hatchery, organic/natural farming, catchment restoration and construction of eco-san toilets," Manoj Misra from Peace Institute said.

The result after two years included 6,000 trees along the river at 10 locations, two years' tabulation of water quality and documenting the biodiversity.

Sharing UK's experiences, Dr Peter Spillet said, "Apart from the infrastructure investment for preventing pollution, partnership with the NGOs and the community yielded result."


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