Releasing the Detailed Project Report (DPR) on Forestry Intervention for Ganga in New Delhi along with Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar, the Minister said from time immemorial the vegetations along the river Ganga had the medicinal power to keep its water clean.
Terming them as Brahmdrav, Sushri Bharti said this plantation programme will start from Uttarakhand. The Water Resources Minister was of the opinion the large scale vegetations along the river Ganga will also help in enriching the aqua life of the river.
Complementing the experts of Forest Research Institute (FRI) Dehradun for their contribution in the preparation of voluminous report, the Minister said her Ministry will start implementing the report very soon.
Prakash Javadekar on keeping Ganga clean:
Terming the Government's commitment to keep Ganga alive and ridding it of pollution as "complete and final" Prakash Javadekar, said that forests should be set up in the catchment area of the river to maintain the lively relationship between forests and water.
He said that trees and plants prevent soil erosion, recharge water and also increase the level of groundwater. The Minister said that one-third of the pollution from industries has been reduced. He emphasised the fact that the release of black liquor and spent discharge into the river has been stopped almost completely, which is a major success.
He said that much progress has been achieved on the sustainable sand mining policy.
Workshop to mark release of DPR:
A day long workshop was also organised to mark the release of DPR. Senior officials from Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, environmentalists, scientists, representatives of Eco Task Force, ITBP, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and Civil Society organisations attended the workshop.
The DPR has been prepared by FRI after extensive consultations with various stakeholders and incorporating science based methodology. This included use of remote sensing and GIS technologies for spatial analysis and modelling of pre-delineated Ganga river scape covering 83,946 sq.km out of a much larger Ganga River basin within the country.
FRI designed four sets of field data formats to obtain the site based information on proposed forestry plantations in natural, agriculture and urban landscapes along the river course and other conservation interventions.
More than 8,000 data sheets were obtained from five states along the river course. The Institute also developed a software to collate, analyse and report generation on potential plantation and treatment models.
Extensive plantations in natural, agriculture, and urban landscapes besides conservation interventions such as soil and water conservation, riparian wildlife management, wetland management, and supporting activities such as policy and law interventions, concurrent research, monitoring and evaluation, and mass awareness campaigns have been envisioned in the DPR.
Altogether, 40 different plantation and treatment models have been selected for implementation by Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal. The project will be implemented over a period of five years by the State Forest Departments of these five states in Phase-I (2016-2021).
The project envisages active involvement of two battalions of Eco Task Force in the states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh for raising plantations in difficult terrains. The State Forest Departments in five states are also expected to involve ITBP, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and Civil Society organisations for various proposed activities including monitoring and awareness campaigns.