Yamuna's rejuvenation, making Delhi stretch navigable on the anvil

New Delhi, Union Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari Wednesday chaired a meeting for rejuvenation of the Yamuna river and to make its stretch in Delhi navigable.

Gadkari emphasized the need for a systematic public awareness Clean Yamuna campaign by involving citizens and students.

Chairing the meeting, he said that a sense of involvement and community participation for the development of river front should be inculcated.

Among the issues discussed were: To make sufficient water flow/discharge available in the river throughout the year, the issue of treatment of sewage and industrial waste in Delhi before discharging into the river for augmenting its water level, to undertake development and beautification of the river banks in an ecologically sound and environment sensitive manner, said an official statement.

Gadkari asked representatives of the Delhi government, who attended the meeting, to explore the possibility of constructing navigational barrages in Delhi stretch of Yamuna to augment the flow of the river as suggested by Central Water Commission in one of their earlier reports.

The project also entails augmenting the water capacity by recharging the four to five big lakes which are close to the river and connecting/channelizing their flow into the river.

The Delhi government also has a plan for taking up a pilot project around the “Signature Bridge” presently under construction in the city to improve the water flow in the stretch by dredging and installing an “inflatable rubber weir” to hold back enough water during the lean season to provide 2-3 metres depth for navigation purposes throughout the year, said the statement.

It was suggested that the Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model for Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) being constructed by Delhi administration may be implemented whereever feasible. Another proposal put forward for consideration was to provide the treated water from the STPs to the users on chargeable basis thus generating some revenue for the river rejuvenation project.

The meeting was attended by senior officials of the ministry, the Delhi government, and representatives/experts from IIT- Delhi, TERI, and some prominent international companies.

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