Panel flags 2 projects that could affect Yamuna floodplains

Panel flags 2 projects that could affect Yamuna floodplains

India News

The Principal Committee constituted on the orders of the National Green Tribunal to monitor projects concerning the “rejuvenation” of the Yamuna has raised concerns about two project proposals that could affect the floodplains in Delhi — a power transmission line and an elevated road along the riverbank.

One of the proposals that the committee considered at its recent meeting was a project of the Public Works Department (PWD) to construct an elevated road along the riverbank from Wazirabad to DND. Manoj Misra, convenor of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, who was the petitioner in the NGT case that eventually led to the constitution of the committee, raised the matter of the elevated road for the committee’s consideration, stating that it is “against the ecology of the river”, and will “sharply reduce the expanse of floodplains”. At a meeting earlier this year, the PWD had informed the committee that the proposed elevated road would decongest the existing Ring Road.

The DDA informed the committee that PWD was asked to re-examine the proposal, and it had suggested that the proposal over the floodplain should be avoided and instead, “roads can be developed over the existing Ring Road”, as per the minutes of the meeting. While the PWD said construction over the Ring Road may not be possible, the panel asked for a discussion with the PWD, experts, and DDA to resolve the issue. Another project that the committee raised issues about was Delhi Transco Limited’s proposal for a 1.3-km-long extension of a 220 kV power transmission line, along with seven towers, to feed a proposed substation at Rajghat. Ecologist professor C R Babu, an expert member of the committee, noted that the alignment would be too close to the river and could provide resistance to floodwaters, according to the minutes.

In response to the proposal, professor A K Gosain, another expert member of the panel, stated that after dismantling the Rajghat Power Plant, the area should have been retrieved for the river.

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