Government to Evolve River Sediment Management Policy soon
Conference on Sediment Management in Indian Rivers Held
Government will soon evolve a river sediment management policy. This was stated by Shri Narendra Kumar, Chairman, Central Water Commission while inaugurating a national seminar on Sediment management in Indian rivers in New Delhi today. Shri Kumar said many committees have been constituted in the past to look into the silting problems in rivers of India and suggest suitable remedial measures. He expressed the hope that the conference will be a step ahead in this direction and extensive consultations among varied stakeholders will result in evolving a comprehensive policy. Shri Kumar said it is essential to devise a methodology for sediment management which is environment friendly and feasible technically as well as economically.
Shri Kumar said over the years silting of rivers has assumed serious proportions. He said as of now there is general feeling that flood prone rivers are aggrading and undergoing change in carrying capacity, leading to rise in flood level. Shri Kumar said common practices carried out by river management agencies demonstrate that sediment management till late has been based on limited scientific knowledge. He was of the opinion that a different approach to sediment management is desirable, incorporating knowledge and management of sediments at the basin skill and a wider application of available scientific knowledge.
Shri Sanjay Kundu, Joint Secretary (PP) in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation in his welcome speech referred to the address of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in the inter-state council meeting where he underlined the need for a river sediment management policy in the country. He expressed the hope that experts at the conference will come out with appropriate recommendations which will help in framing of the National Silt Management policy by the Government.
The issue of sediment management in rivers including siltation and dredging has been engaging attention of the public for quite some time. The need for formulating a comprehensive policy on sediment management in rivers cannot be overstated on account of its serious implications on flooding, environment, river health and navigation.
The conference had four different session on, Sedimentation in Indian Rivers-Status, Challenges and Opportunities, Soil Conservation and Catchment Area Treatment, Sand Mining and Dredging and Framework for Sediment Management Policy.
The daylong conference organized by Ministry of WaterResources, RiverDevelopment and Ganga Rejuvenation was attended by many experts including Dr. M. A. Chitale, Expert Member, NGRBA, Professor Vinod Tare, IIT, Kanpur, Professor A. K. Gosain, IIT – Delhi, Dr. M. K. Sinha, Director, CWPRS, Pune and senior officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways and Shipping, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of Bihar and Government of Uttrakhand. The purpose of the conference was tocomprehensively deliberate issues related to sedimentation of Indian rivers with all the stake-holders and develop an appropriate policy.