In furtherance of the Hindon rejuvenation plan, the Uttar Pradesh irrigation department has cleared several proposals, including construction of two reservoirs at Buddhakhera Pundhir and Jajner in Saharanpur. The Hindon originates in Saharanpur.
The proposals were forwarded to the state administration for financial grant. Besides the Gomti river font development project in Lucknow, the state government is also working on the revival and rejuvenation of river Hindon in western UP.
Officials of the irrigation department said that the two reservoirs would help replenish groundwater in areas near the river.
“The construction of two reservoirs, estimated at `543.13 lakh, was cleared by a committee of chief engineer and forwarded to the state administration for financial approval. Further, we have also decided to construct four ‘bandhis’ (small dams) in the upper reaches of the river at Saharanpur at a cost of `193 lakh. This will help groundwater recharge in the upper reaches of the river,” CK Verma, engineer-in-chief of the UP irrigation department at Lucknow, said.
Officials also cleared a proposal for construction of a rubber dam at Hasanpur in Saharanpur at a cost of nearly `3,073 lakh. They have also cleared another proposal of `2,337.57 lakh for diversion of Ganga water to Hindon and another proposal of `229.75 lakh for diversion of water to river Krishni, one of the two tributaries of Hindon.
“Ganga water to river Hindon will help reduce pollution levels. We have also planned to construct a water augmentation structure on the Hindon near Noida-Greater Noida Expressway in Gautam Budh Nagar. The project will cost nearly `5,679 lakh. We are working constantly to rejuvenate the Hindon and a presentation about the plan was given in South Africa in March and it was well appreciated,” Verma said.
Hindon originates from Pur Ka Tanda village in Saharanpur and confluences with the Yamuna near Momnathal in Greater Noida, passing through Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar, Meerut, Baghpat and Ghaziabad. Along its estimated length of 355 km, 269 industries are located, a major cause of pollution.
“The effluents have led to high pollution levels in the river, which is already contaminated due to presence of heavy metals. These are carcinogenic in nature and affect humans along with the flora and fauna. The river’s ecosystem has deteriorated severely and affects lives of those residing in nearly 350 villages located along it,” Dr Chandra Vir Singh, a retired scientist who has filed petitions with NGT to decrease contamination of Hindon, said.
“Contamination of the river water has also seeped to hand pumps and tubewells located near the river. Recently, majority of the water samples from these hand pumps and tube wells failed quality test, as per reports submitted to NGT by UP agencies. The NGT has ordered for re-sampling to include other parameters as well,” Singh said.
Last July, HT had carried out a five-part series ‘the Hindon horror – a dead river’ which highlighted the pollution by industries, damage to the river system, encroachments and the effect on the lives of thousands living in villages near the river.
The Uttar Pradesh government had responded with a Hindon rejuvenation and revival plan. In a recent meeting at Meerut, the officials were also directed to prepare a vision document, along with various stakeholders, to revive the river.