NEW DELHI: Delhi will have its first riverfront on the Yamuna but it will not be on
the lines of the Sabarmati in Gujarat, along which Prime Minister
Narendra Modi took Chinese President Xi Jinping for a stroll in
Delhi Water Minister Kapil Mishra termed the
Sabarmati riverfront "ecologically damaging" and promised to develop
the Yamuna riverfront "ecologically".
Mishra said the Gujarat
government had stopped the flow of the river and created a pond for the
Sabarmati riverfront. "They did not clean the Sabarmati as it is still
dirty. They filled the pond with water from the Narmada river. No
environmental expert appreciates the Sabarmati riverfront model as they
used lots of concrete in the construction, which is ecologically
damaging," Mishra told IANS.
Mishra, who also holds the portfolio of tourism, said the Yamuna riverfront will be different.
will not stop flow of Yamuna as it is our commitment to bring life to
the river. The riverfront will help a lot in increasing the city's green
cover and give Delhi a clean recreational area," Mishra assured.
Delhi government will follow the riverfront development plan prepared
by noted ecologist and retired Delhi University professor C.R. Babu.
riverfront will be developed upstream of Wazirabad alongside Sonia
Vihar on a five kilometre area. This will be the first riverfront in
Delhi. We have started working on the plan and will hopefully complete
the work in one and a half years from now," Mishra said.
Mishra said that earlier the plan was with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and was hanging in balance.
plan talks about greenery along the riverfront for which the Aam Aadmi
Party (AAP) government will soon start plantation of tree saplings.
Yamuna riverfront will offer clean recreational area, pathways, cycle
tracks, greenery, and parks. Under the plan, two or three big reservoirs
will be made for flood water harvesting," Mishra said.
riverfront will be developed in compliance with the directions of the
National Green Tribunal (NGT) and it aims at restoration of the
biodiversity of the river.
Mishra, who is also Delhi Jal Board
chairperson, visited the river at Sonia Vihar recently along with a team
of senior officials of the department to see how the plan could be
implemented. He also held a meeting with the environmentalist Babu
earlier this week to chalk out a strategy on the project.
told IANS that he would submit a written document of the riverfront plan
to the Delhi government next week. He said the Yamuna riverfront would
be a unique one as it would have a lot of green cover to maintain
"Main aim of the riverfront will be to
conserve, protect and restore the biodiversity of Yamuna integrated with
public recreation spaces that the city needs. It will also help in
maintaining the riverine ecosystem," Babu said.
(Ashish Mishra can be contacted at email@example.com)