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Panel on environ flow in Ganga basin to meet for consensus

A three-member panel constituted by the Centre to decide the environmental flow in the Ganga basin which gave varying opinions over the quantity and quality of water to be maintained in Yamuna, is likely to meet this week to arrive at a consensus.

The committee, which includes the additional secretaries of the Water Resources and Environment ministries, was set up last year for recommending as to what should be the environmental flow in the Ganga basin, including in Yamuna.

Difference of opinion among the committee members over the flow in Yamuna was believed to have been delaying the submission of a report in this regard to another panel constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to free Yamuna from pollution.

According to sources, the committee is expected to meet this week, in which the issue of environmental flow in Yamuna would be discussed.

The meeting comes against the backdrop of Water Resources Minister Uma Bharati directing the committee members to reach a consensus on environmental flow in Yamuna at the earliest to ensure that their report is submitted to the NGT panel.

NGT in January constituted the panel of experts drawn from various departments to examine strategies for making Yamuna pollution-free.

Meanwhile, during the Upper Yamuna River Board meeting in Delhi last month, representatives from Yamuna-flowing states had insisted that the Ministry of Water Resources must send the recommendations of the three-member committee on environmental flow to the NGT panel.

The states in question were of the view that this would ensure there were no legal issues arising over environmental flow in the Yamuna.