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Conservation Plans For Cities Along Rivers

Conservation Plans For Cities Along Rivers:

A policy document from National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has proposed that cities situated on river banks should incorporate river conservation plans when they prepare their Master Plans.

  • The recommendations are currently for towns that are on the main stem of the river Ganga which are in five States — Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal.
  • NMCG is the implementation wing of National Ganga Council (set in 2016; which replaced the National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA)). Along with its state counterpart organizations, NMCG implements the Namami Gange Programme
  • On the need for river-sensitive plans that must be practical (as envisaged in the National Water Policy).
  • There should be a systematic rehabilitation plan to remove encroachment that emphasizes on alternative livelihood options along with a proper relocation strategy.
  • Planners should make every attempt to engage stakeholders (encroacher, land owners) in order to develop empathetic and humane solutions.
  • The plan must also clarify on land ownership. Ascertaining the land ownership in these areas is important to avoid legal complications while the Plan is being implemented.
  • A key aspect of conserving and protecting river and riverine resources involves increasing green cover in the vicinity of the river by creating green buffers, removing concrete structures and employing “green infrastructure.”