Union Road and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday issued a notification for the Environamental flows (e-flows) of Ganga with an aim to maintain the natural pattern of the river flow.
E-flows are a regime of flow in a river that mimics the natural pattern of the river's flows. It refers to the quality, quantity and timing of water flows required to maintain the components, functions, processes and resilience of aquatic ecosystems that provide goods and services to people.
Calling it significant for the betterment of Ganga river, Gadkari said: "E-flow is very important for the health of a river. We formed a three-member committee to prepare a draft for implementation of environmental flows for Himalayan Ganga. As per NGT order, another committee was formed to study the minimum and necessary e-flow of Ganga between Haridwar and Unnao. Based on the recommendations of these committees, we have issued an e-flow notification today. As per the directions of this notification, in the dry season (November to March) the e-flow will be 20 per cent, in April to May it will be 25 per cent and from June to September we have kept it at 30 per cent of the monthly flow of high flow season."
Gadkari also informed that hydro projects have been given three years of time to comply with today's notification.
"We have given three years of time, starting today to present hydropower projects and within that time they have to abide by the e-flow notification. The Central Water Commission will collect data making use of available technology. The central government and the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) will have the authority to issue directives for the release of additional Ganga water as well. We are committed to maintain an incessant flow of river Ganga and this is a step in the same direction. From Gangotri to Ganga we have conducted studies and have started various projects in different cities. We are working on Ganga and different tributaries of Ganga. 34 projects are ongoing on Yamuna and 12 projects in Delhi are also being worked upon," he said.
The minister also asserted that various projects on Ganga are underway at war-scale and that the government is positive about improving the water quality of the river by March end.
"When all these projects will culminate the water quality will improve. Hence, I have maintained that we will try to fulfill 70-80 per cent parameters of Ganga cleanliness by March end. The projects are going on at a war footing," he added.
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