After coming under scathing criticism from environmentalists and citizens alike, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) — the biggest land development agency in the Capital — has finally agreed that the Yamuna riverbed should not be tinkered with in future.
The agency has all but decided to prohibit any kind of concretisation on the riverbed.
The blueprint to implement this — zonal plan for “O” (riverbed/ riverfront) — has finally been readied by the DDA. It is the zonal plan, which specifies the usage of the existing vacant land in the city.
The plan will be coming up for approval in the DDA Board meeting scheduled on August 10. Once approved, it would be sent to the Union Urban Development Ministry for final clearance.
The proposed plan for zone “O” specifies that no further concretization would take place on the riverbed.
“The riverbed should be preserved and only green development like setting up biodiversity parks, nature trails and bird sanctuaries, etc. would be developed in the area in future,” said a senior urban development ministry official.
However, the ongoing construction at the Commonwealth Games Village near Akshardham temple will continue.
“The objective of zone “O” development is to augment water supply, contain pollution and land utilization in a fashion so that there is eco-friendly development and the ecosystems of the river are maintained. Any kind of construction on the river front would destroy the riverbed,” the official added.
Earlier, environmental experts had cried foul after the DDA, ignoring all environmental norms, had hurriedly changed the land use of a portion of the river bed to construct the Commonwealth Games village adjacent to the Akshardham temple.
Experts had said that as the river bed is an ecologically sensitive and lies in zone four which is earthquake prone, concretization of the river front should not be allowed.
The DDA was asked by the urban development ministry to finalize the zonal plans after the Master Plan for Delhi-2021 was notified in February 2007.