The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change recently released a detailed report on the program to rejuvenate 13 major rivers in India. The Detailed Project Report (DPR) aims to introduce forestry interventions to ensure that rivers have a clean and continuous flow, with cleaner banks to improve aquatic biomes and livelihoods.
More than Rs 19,000 crore will be spent over the next five years on various forestry interventions to help these rivers. The 13 rivers chosen for rejuvenation are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Narmada, Godavari, Mahanadi, Krishna, Cauvery and Luni. The DPR also deals with the many tributaries of each river.
The DPR was prepared by the Forest Research Institute (FRI) under the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun, which had also prepared the DPR for the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
“Each river has many tributaries – Jhelum has 24, Chenab has 17, Rabi has 6, Brahmaputra has 30, Mahanadi has 7 and Krishna has 13, etc. – so we looked at the whole network In addition to rejuvenating the rivers themselves, several other important issues will be addressed through the project, including reversing desertification, preserving biodiversity and protecting wildlife in these areas,” said Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav.
Forest interventions will be spread over different watersheds of natural, agricultural or urban landscapes. A total of 667 treatments and planting patterns are planned for the 13 rivers. The project expects to observe a significant increase in forest cover of 7,417.36 km2 and an increase in groundwater recharge of 1,889.89 million cubic meters per year.
Importantly, the project will also result in the sequestration of 50 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in the 10-year-old plantations and 74.76 million tonnes of carbon emissions in the 20-year-old plantations. The activities listed in the DPRs will also result in the generation of 344 million workdays.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)