NEW DELHI: Emphasising that it is necessary to provide the river sufficient areas of floodplain, a central committee has recommended that any encroachment of flood plain, reclamation of lakes or disconnection of lakes from river Ganga should be avoided.
The committee on Desiltation of Ganga under Madhav Chitale, expert member, National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGBRA) was constituted in July 2016 by Ministry of Water Resources River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The committee was mandated to prepare guidelines for desiltation of river Ganga from Bhimgauda (Uttarakhand) to Farakka (West Bengal).
The committee in its report has recommended a slew of measures which include study of reach wise sediment transport processes to guide annual de-silting activities, preparation of annual reports (Sand registry) and a technical institute may be entrusted to conduct the sediment budget, morphological and flood routing studies to examine and confirm the necessity of the de-silting of the reach under consideration.
Highlighting that River Ganga tends to achieve equilibrium on its own given the hydrology, sediment and natural bed and bank disposition, it said that it is necessary to provide the river sufficient areas of flood plain and lakes along the river to moderate the flood level.
“Any encroachment of flood plain, reclamation of lakes or disconnection of lakes from river should be avoided; rather adjoining lakes/depressions may be de-silted to increase their storage capacities,” it added in its report.
Calling for evolving guidelines, better broad principles, which should be kept in mind while planning and implementing de-silting works, the committee cautioned that indiscriminate de-siltation works may result in more harm to ecology and environment flow.
Upstream reaches of natural constriction works, like barrages/bridges, tend to get silted leading to the wandering of the river, Chitale committee says possibly river training, cut-off developments and provision of extra water way near the constrictions could be tried after proper assessment without impacting the morphology of river elsewhere.
“Embankments, spurs and river training measures provided to protect the banks should not encroach upon the flood plains and delink the lakes, flood plains and other riverine environments from the river,” it advised.