Centre chalks out plan for desilting of river Ganga
The Central government in its first initiative has planned on a large scale desilting of Ganges to ensure its natural flow and also seize the chances of flood. The committee is expected to submit its reports in the next three months.
"The committee has been marking all the places along the length of the river which requires desilting. The members are examining the ecological aspects of removing the big dunes from the river courses which act as a barrier to its flow," said a senior officer in Namami Gange Project of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development, and Ganga Rejuvenation. The officer also said that environmental experts have been invited to prepare a detailed report on the project. "Our aim is to reduce the chances of a flood," he added.
According to sources, the committee is counting in the concerns of Bihar government which had previously blamed the government for not cleaning the silt which not only minimized the water holding capacity but also was responsible for causing floods in the state.
"The main cause of high deposition of silt is large scale deforestation. Previously, forests of Taraee region used to prevent soil erosion but now due to deforestation more and more silt is coming along with rain water causing blockage," the officer said.
Putting aside the above-cited reasons, the 1,620 km long National Waterway 1 in Ganga routed from Haldia to Allahabad has expedited the need for desilting of the river. The committee on desilting is also coordinating with Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI), which has been assigned to develop 14,500 km long Waterways in the country in 111 major rivers. "As desilting, this is the first of its kind project in India. We are studying all the environment rules besides the ecological aspects," said another senior officer.