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Delhi govt submits action plan for restoration of Yamuna floodplains

The three-member committee comprising officials from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh government has suggested an action plan for the rehabilitation of the site where the Art of Living organised the World Culture Festival in March 2016.

delhi Updated: Jul 28, 2017 23:40 IST
Joydeep Thakur
Joydeep Thakur
Hindustan Times
Yamuna,floodplain,National Green Tribunal
The restoration plan doesn’t mention any timeline within which the rehabilitation work could be completed, nor does it give any estimate of the cost involved. (Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)

The three-member committee comprising officials from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh government has suggested an action plan for the rehabilitation of the site where the Art of Living organised the World Culture Festival in March 2016.

The plan, however, doesn’t mention any timeline within which the rehabilitation work could be completed, nor does it give any estimate of the cost involved.

A seven-member expert committee, which was set up by the National Green Tribunal in 2016, had suggested that it would take at least 10 years and Rs 42 crore to fix the ecological damage.

A parallel report prepared by the NGO, however, claimed that any ‘accidental damage’ to the ecology of the floodplains has already been restored.

“If at all any such accidental damage which would have taken place during the event, in all probability they have already been reversed by natural processes. With the arrival of monsoon in 2016 all the lost plants and animals would have re-colonised the event site,” the NGO’s report has claimed.

The government plan, which was submitted to the green body on Friday, rejected the suggestions of the expert panel to create wetlands in the floodplains.

“Such type of activity will also alter the natural flowing behaviour of the river. Hence, it will not be advisable to create and maintain the wetlands within the floodplain of the river,” the government report claims.

Experts such as CR Babu and AK Gosain who comprised the seven-member committee refused to comment saying, “All our observations and suggestions were mentioned in the report.”

The government instead has proposed to create treatment wetlands to treat the polluted water and catchment wetlands through which purified water could reach the river.

The plan also says that the government would put up fences to stop human interference, plant indigenous trees along the embankments, develop the marshy areas as a green buffer and take help of bio-remedial measures to treat the contaminated water.

The seven-member expert panel had suggested the use of aquatic plants and animals that once used to inhabit the Yamuna floodplains to fix the ecological damage.

First Published: Jul 28, 2017 23:40 IST