'Sabarmati model not fit for Yamuna'

Experts tell LG differences in both rivers

Rehabilitation of Yamuna is not possible on Gujarat model. Top Delhi government officials who went on a study tour to Gujarat few days back to learn about maintenance the of Sabarmati have told Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung that the same model can not be followed in the city.

The major problem in following the Sabarmati model is the size and shape of Yamuna. Only 11 km of Sabarmati touches the city against 22 km of Yamuna in Delhi.“The river banks of Sabarmati are cemented. It is not possible for Yamuna as its riverbed is huge. If we do so, it will trigger a threat of massive flood,” said a senior Delhi government official who refused to be quoted.

Another major problem is the ecology of Yamuna’s riverbed. The environment department said cementing of riverbeds or putting boulders on the banks will destroy the ecology. The only option Delhi has got is deep forestation.

“Dense forests on the riverbed are the only option to control the rising level of water of the river. The slums and other illegal constructions have to be removed from the riverbed,” the official added.

Sources said the report is delayed for 10-15 days as officials are not willing to openly counter the Centre’s order to follow the Gujarat model in Delhi.

Forest and Environment Department officials verbally suggested LG that Yamuna has a tendency to change its route of flow and any permanent structure cannot be erected for flood control. In last 200-300 years, Yamuna has shifted about three kilometres from its original flow area near Lal Quila.

Another problem in following Sabarmati’s model is sewer outlets. While Sabarmati has no direct sewer outlet, Yamuna has dozens. 

“The only solution to clean Yamuna is by setting up of a number of small sewage treatment plants on every sewer outlet falling into the river. Moreover, we need sufficient water for the river which has been halted by Haryana,” the official said.

Delhi is getting less than three per cent of Yamuna’s water from Haryana against 4.2 per cent which was promised after commissioning of Munak Canal on Delhi’s border. At least 80 million gallons a day of Delhi’s share of water is not being released by Haryana which is leading to water crisis in the river and the city as well.

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