Ministry of Environment releases project reports for rejuvenation of 13 rivers in India

Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Bhupender Yadav, and Union Minister for Jal Shakti, Gajender Singh Shekhawat, along with Minister of State, MoEFCC, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, jointly published the reports.

The thirteen rivers for which DPRs are published are Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, Yamuna, Brahmaputra, Luni, Narmada, Godavari, Mahanadi, Krishna and Cauvery. The DPRs were funded by the National Afforestation & Eco-development Board (MoEF&CC) and prepared by the Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education (ICFRE), Dehradun.

Addressing the rally, the Union Environment Minister said that the DPRs are in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s holistic vision to make the next 25 years like ‘Amrit Kaal’, as these DPRs will create a goal of expanding green coverage for the next 10 years. years and 20 years, then future generations will have a “Green India” through the “Van Bhagidari and Jan Bhagidari” of the present generation.

The proposed cumulative budget expenditure of thirteen DPRs is Rs. 19,342.62 crores. The DPRs are expected to be implemented through the State Forest Departments as the nodal department and with the convergence of programs from other operational State Departments towards the activities proposed in the DPRs and financial support from the Government of India.

Addressing the gathering, Union Minister Jal Shakti said that “water is the elixir of life” and this fact was known to all traditionally as rivers were treated as goddesses and were nurtured with deep reverence in the hearts, minds and souls of the masses. The day we stopped thinking about what we give back to the rivers, when we failed to find a balance between the need for development and environmental sustainability, when we stopped being stewards of nature and rather imposed our ownership on it, we began to exploit and over-exploit our Resources.

The activities proposed in the DPRs will achieve the potential benefits of increasing green cover, containing soil erosion, recharging the water table and sequestering carbon dioxide in addition to benefits in the form of non-conventional forest products. ligneous.

Forestry interventions are expected to increase cumulative forest cover by 7,417.36 km2 across 13 river landscapes. The proposed interventions would sequester 50.21 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 10-year-old plantations and 74.76 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent in 20-year-old plantations. The proposed interventions in thirteen river landscapes would contribute to groundwater recharge by 1,889.89 million cubic meters per year and reduce sedimentation by 64.83,114 cubic meters per year.

Additionally, Rs. 449.01 crores will likely be generated from the expected non-timber and other forest products. Employment of 344 million man-days is also expected to be generated by planned activities, as planned in 13 DPRs.

The rivers as well as their tributaries are proposed for forestry interventions in the river landscape under different landscapes, namely the natural landscape, the agricultural landscape and the urban landscape. The different patterns of forest plantations, including woody species, medicinal plants, grasses, shrubs and combustible fodder and fruit trees, aim to increase water, recharge groundwater tables and contain erosion. A total of 667 treatment and planting models are proposed in the 13 DPRs for proposed forestry interventions and supporting activities, in different landscapes.

Each DPR incorporates a detailed geospatial analysis of the delineated river landscape, a comprehensive review of the river environment, the factors responsible for the current condition and the prioritization of areas using remote sensing and GIS techniques, as well as on-the-ground verification of proposed forestry interventions and other conservation measures through extensive consultation. process and design and development of various treatment models for the natural, agricultural and urban landscape in each of the demarcated river landscapes.

DPRs focus on protection, reforestation, watershed treatment, ecological restoration, moisture conservation, livelihood improvement, income generation, ecotourism by developing river fronts , eco-parks and mass awareness. Research and monitoring was also included as a component.

The efforts will contribute to the achievement of India’s international commitments such as the NDC forest sector target of creating an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through forest cover and additional tree cover by 2030 under the UNFCCC Paris Agreement, the restoration of 26 million hectares of degraded land by 2030 as a land degradation neutrality target under the of the UNCCD, to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2030 within the framework of the CBD and the Sustainable Development Goals.

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