In a major boost for preservation of the ecology of River Yamuna, Lt Governor Tejendra Khanna has announced that there will be no further construction on the floodplains of the river.
“The floodplains need to be preserved for its valuable and large water yielding capacity and to preserve its ecological integrity and bio-diversity. (Hence) there will be no further construction on the floodplains of Yamuna,” Khanna said at a function on Monday.
Ranjan Mukherjee, Officer on Special Duty to Lt Governor, confirmed on Tuesday, “The flood plains would be used for developing a bio-diversity park.”
Khanna’s announcement is significant as he is also the chairman of Prime Minister appointed Yamuna River Development Authority (YRDA) and had asked the Central Ground Water Board to study the natural water storage and recharge potential of the floodplains.
He had also declared a temporary moratorium (on any construction) and modified the Delhi Master Plan 2021 (MPD 2021) subject to studies going on.
Dr Vikram Soni, a research scientist with the National Physical Laboratory, and Diwan Singh, from Natural Heritage First, an NGO, said in a release, “This is a major decision, which will be a forerunner for river preservation. We need a notification to ensure that this resource remains for the future generations.”
The ground water board, in its report to Lt Governor after a six-month study, has found that the yield potential of the floodplains is almost 100 MGD (million gallons per day) employing the present ground reality.
After construction started for the Commonwealth Games Village and Delhi metro, the floodplains were being viewed as huge chunk of land lying waste in the middle of the city.