Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Announces Release of Detailed Project Report on Forestry Interventions for Ganga

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Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti will release Detailed Project Report on Forestry Intervention for Ganga on March 22, 2016 in New Delhi.

As a part of Ganga rejuvenation programme, forestry interventions all along the course of river has been envisaged. In the process, the National Mission on Clean Ganga (NMCG) under Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation entrusted one year assignment to the Forest Research Institute (FRI), Dehradun to prepare Detailed Project Report (DPR) on Forestry Interventions for Ganga in April, 2015.

The FRI submitted the draft DPR to the NMCG on February 16, 2016. Subsequently the Water Resources Ministry conveyed its approval and asked FRI to finalize the DPR incorporating the specific comments and suggestions made by the NMCG/Ministry. The final DPR will be released in the presence of Union Minister for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Shri Prakash Javadekar and Union Minister of State for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Prof. Sanwar Lal Jat.

A day long workshop has also been organised to mark the release of DPR. Senior officials of five participating states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal) representing the respective Governments and concerned State Forest Department, environmentalists, scientists, representatives of Eco Task Force, ITBP, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and Civil Society Organizations have also been invited to the workshop.

The preparation of DPR envisaged extensive consultations with various stakeholders in the context of river Ganga at the national and state levels and incorporation of science based methodology. This included use of remote sensing and GIS technologies for spatial analysis and modeling of pre-delineated Ganga riverscape covering 83,946 sq.km out of a much larger Ganga River basin within the country. FRI has designed four sets of field data formats to obtain the site based information on proposed forestry plantations in natural, agriculture, and urban landscapes along the river course and other conservation interventions. More than 8,000 data sheets were obtained from five states along the river course. The Institute also developed a software to collate, analyze and report generation on potential plantation and treatment models.

Extensive plantations in natural, agriculture, and urban landscapes besides conservation interventions such as soil and water conservation, riparian wildlife management, wetland management, and supporting activities such as policy and law interventions, concurrent research, monitoring and evaluation, and mass awareness campaigns have been envisioned in the DPR.

Altogether, 40 different plantation and treatment models have been selected for implementation by five states. The project will be implemented over a period of five years by the State Forest Departments of five participating states in Phase-I (2016-2021).

The project envisages active involvement of two battalions of Eco Task Force in the states of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh for raising plantations in difficult terrains. The State Forest Departments in five states are also expected to involve ITBP, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan and Civil Society Organizations for various proposed activities including monitoring and awareness campaigns.

-PIB

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