The Union ministry of environment has written to the ministry of river development to get two drying streams of Uttarakhand revived under the Ganga rejuvenation plan, sources said on Tuesday.
They are Rispana and Bindal which flow in Dehradun, enter the river Suswa before falling into the Ganga. Municipal figures show that the streams are now highly polluted as about 30 metric tons of the city’s daily waste enters them. Another major cause of the rising pollution in them is that over 45 slums housing about 30,000 dwellers are situated on Rispana and Bindal banks, officials said.
The decision to include the two streams in the Ganga rejuvenation plan was taken after members of a social organization, Making A Difference-By Being The Difference (MAD), met union environment minister Prakash Javadekar on March 30 and apprised him of how the streams immediately required rejuvenation. The streams, which flow in the Ganga basin, are fast-dying and could be saved if they were brought under the Ganga plan, the minister was told. Taking cognizance of the suggestion, the National River Conservation Directorate, which comes under the environment ministry, wrote to the secretary of the ministry of water resources and river development on April 13 to look into the matter.
MAD president Abhijay Negi said that he handed over four dossiers to the union minister. The first discussed the issues regarding the two streams and the rest on poor sanitation, depletion of green cover and issues about tea gardens in the Doon valley.
He said, “We are glad that there has been action on our demand for saving Rispana and Bindal. Now, it will not be easy for any government in the state to allow encroachment (inhabitation near) of these streams. We will now work with the Union ministry of water resources on the issue.”
In 2014, then Union cabinet minister for water resources Harish Rawat had sanctioned a study on how to revive the two streams at MAD’s initiative. The study was conducted by the National Institute of Hydrology in Roorkee . It stated that Rispana was a perennial stream and sought R 1 crore for an advanced study on the stream’s rejuvenation potential.