Cities along rivers urged to include conservation plans

Source: The Hindu

What is the News?

The National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) has released a policy document containing guidelines for cities situated along rivers.

Note: These guidelines are currently for towns situated near Ganga. There are 97 towns encompassing five States — Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal.

Key Guidelines of the Policy:

  • Firstly, the cities situated on the river banks will have to incorporate river conservation plans when they prepare their Master Plans.
  • Secondly, these river-sensitive plans must be practical and consider questions of land ownership such as restrictions on the Floor Area Ratio, ground coverage, and setting limits on the maximum permissible heights of buildings.
  • Thirdly, the plan should include a systematic and alternate livelihood rehabilitation plan for encroaching entities.
  • Fourthly, the Master Plan should not mandate specific technologies. But it can create an environment for facilitating the use of state-of-the-art technologies for river management.
    • These include satellite-based monitoring of water quality; artificial intelligence for riverine biodiversity mapping; big data and citizen science for river-health monitoring and unmanned aerial vehicles for floodplain mapping.
  • Lastly, the cities with an ongoing Master Plan should conduct an immediate analysis of the extent to which these river guidelines could have been adopted.
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