The Uttar Pradesh government has ordered for the formation of a committee, to coordinate with stakeholders, to ensure that the work on rejuvenation of the Hindon river is undertaken at ground level.
The move comes in the backdrop of concerns over rising pollution levels in Hindon and its tributaries despite influx of fresh water supplies from the irrigation department canals.
Under the Hindon rejuvenation and revival plan, the state government has designated the UP irrigation & water resources department as the nodal agency. The new committee will comprise officials from the UP pollution control board, respective district magistrates and UP irrigation department officials from Meerut, Saharanpur and Ghaziabad districts.
The committee will prescribe locations for setting up around 50 water quality monitoring equipment, which will be installed throughout the stretch of the river from the origin point at Saharanpur to the confluence point with the Yamuna, near Momnathal, in Gautam Budh Nagar district.
The UP pollution control board has been directed to find out the pollution levels and the reason behind the increase in pollution. Apart from this, the irrigation department will find out the water source of the river and suggest measures to expand the capacities of the water sources that may be supplied to cleanse Hindon and its tributaries (130-km long Krishni and 90-km long Kali).
The committee is tasked to ensure that the respective district magistrates ensure that the land belonging to river is identified and kept free of encroachment after demarcation.
“With respect to the river’s revival plan, we have already carried out a drone and a normal survey of the Hindon and its tributaries. The data for water quality and water quantity is being arranged with the help of different departments,” CK Verma, engineer-in-chief and head of department from UP irrigation & water resources at Lucknow, said.
“Since river revival is a long process, we have made various proposals and cleared them under the plan in different phases. Last year’s proposal of constructing check-dams at Hindon’s origin (Pur ka Tanda) in Saharanpur has been cleared. The entire project of reviving various ponds near the river has also been cleared. Another important proposal for supplying additional water to the Hindon is being prepared,” Verma said.
The Hindon revival plan was conceived by the UP state government on the lines of ‘Namami Gange’ initiative launched by the Central government to revive the Ganga. The UP government is also undertaking the Gomti riverfront development project in Lucknow.
“The revival plan is going well only on paper. There has hardly been any work to plug drains and encroachment along the river. There is also a need to rope in the police and development agencies for enforcement of the law. Even the rehabilitation plan for villagers, who are suffering the ill effects of contaminated water along the river areas, need to be developed,” Vikrant Sharma, a river activist from Ghaziabad, said.
There is massive dumping of domestic and industrial effluents from drains, sugar mills, milk processing plants, tanneries and other industrial units at Saharanpur, Muzaffar Nagar, Shamli, Baghpat and Ghaziabad into the Hindon, throughout its path including its two tributaries.
On the orders of the Central pollution control board, the UP pollution control board got an online effluent monitoring system installed in the industries in January.
A satellite survey of the river was also undertaken by the UP remote sensing application centre in January to assess the length, span areas and flood plains of the Hindon. The survey was a part of the revival plan but was initiated after May 2013 on directions from the National Green Tribunal, following a petition.