Centre's draft sediment management policy suggests forming of River Basin Authority

In a bid to ensure that no inter-state or international river is affected by arbitrary de-silting activities, the centre has suggested forming of River Basin Authority.

Published: 17th September 2017 08:27 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th September 2017 08:27 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In a bid to ensure that no inter-state or international river is affected by arbitrary de-silting activities, the centre has suggested forming of River Basin Authority. The recommendation is part of the draft on sediment management policy in which it is also suggested that no de-silting work of more than 1 cubic metre be carried out in any river without the approval of the authority or the Central Water Commission (CWC). A senior CWC official said that the draft was circulated to state governments last month and their suggestions have been sought. “There is a need to establish River Basin Authority for all basins as per recommendation of (the) Doabia committee,” the draft policy says.
 
The Justice TS Doabia panel, which was constituted in 2012, had advocated establishing a River Basin Authority for regulation and development of waters in inter-state river basins. In line with that suggestion, the draft policy also proposes that in order to safeguard the structural integrity of the barrage or a weir, dredging/de-silting/mining activity upstream of structure will not be allowed within approximately 200 metre. The draft document further states that such activities will not be allowed within a distance of 800 metres downstream of the structures.
 
The draft document emphasizes on the need for providing sufficient flood plain and lakes along the river to moderate flood level and recommends that there should be no encroachment on the flood plain and reclamation of lakes. It also recommends against disconnecting lakes from rivers.  “Rather, adjoining lakes/depressions may be de-silted to increase their storage capacities,” it says.
 
It adds that the de-silting of lakes should be carried out in a way that sediment continuity is maintained. Stating that there is a need for constructing storages with sufficient flood cushion, the draft says that stored water needs to be released during non-monsoon period in such a way that silt carrying capacity of river is maintained as “this will also improve ecology of the river.”
 
The draft policy also stresses upon management of solid waste by local governing agencies, saying that littering of solid waste in catchment areas contributes to pollution in rivers. It says special care should be taken for solid waste generated out of industrial processes, which many a times, contains toxic materials. It adds, “And intermixing with other silt may render the same unusable for food chain use. Such waste should not be allowed to be dumped in the river.

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