“Plan for Gomti restoration ready” by Times of India
Times of India
Monday, June 20, 2011
Lucknow: The Gomti might bounce back to life as efforts to revive the river have begun. On the instructions of the chief secretary, the state irrigation department has readied a Gomti restoration plan. The government also took certain decisions for immediate restoration of the river in a high-level meeting held on Wednesday.
About 1.50 cusecs water will be released in the upper segment of the river near its origin in Madho Tanda from Sharda canal systems. Besides, like the previous practice, 100 cusecs water will be released in Lucknow upstream through the river Behta between February 15 and June 15.
The meeting also took note of the recommendations made by a river expedition which was carried out by various civil society organizations between March 27 and April 3 this year. “There is hope that the river, which was neglected, will flow with life, if measures suggested by study group are taken on the priority basis,” said convenor, Gomti study group, Venktatesh Dutta.
The expedition had highlighted how at Dhimapur bridge and all along the Puranpur-Khuthar road, the river is almost filled with silt and local farmers grow crops for seven months on it when there is no water.
The upper segments of the river upstream of Lucknow need immediate restoration. Keeping the considerations in mind, the irrigation department might not life 150 cusecs water through lift irrigation as the river is already over-allocated. The department will also de-silt the river and dredge again in its first 55 km from the origin.
The land use mapping will be done and land records restored. Encroachments will be removed. Sources shared that chief secretary has directed to make district-wise plan, progress of which will be monitored by the respective district magistrates. The Pollution Control Board will strictly monitor the polluting sugar factories and distilleries.
Besides, old water bodies and traditional sources of water, which are in bad shape, will be rejuvenated under MNREGS.