The Uttar Pradesh government has told the Centre that it has planned to fix the minimum environment flow for the polluted stretches of at least six rivers.
E-flow is the minimum limit of flow required to maintain a river in the desired environmental state.
The state government has planned to regulate the E-flow for polluted stretches of Saryu, Hindon, Ramganga, Betwa, Ghaghara and Rapti rivers. So far, Ganga is the only river in the country for which E-flow has been fixed by the Centre. In October 2018, the then Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation — now Ministry of Jal Shakti — had issued a notification, fixing the E-flow for Ganga.
“Environment Flow of River Ganga is maintained as per the provisions of the E-Flow notification of MoWR, GoI. The Irrigation and Water Resources Department UP has prepared a plan for Environment Flow studies of 6 perennial polluted rivers in the State,” the Uttar Pradesh government said in a monthly progress report to National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG).
The state has reported the status of 12 rivers — Hindon, Kali (East), Varuna, Yamuna, Gomti, Ganga, Ramganga, Betwa, Ghaghara, Rapti, Sai and Saryu. Of these, Ganga and Yamuna are inter-state rivers and the E-flow for Ganga has already been notified by the Centre. The e-flow for Yamuna is yet to be decided.
The NMCG had assigned a study to the National Institute of Hydrology (NIH), Roorkee, to assess the minimum required environmental flow of Yamuna in the stretch between Hathini Kund and Okhla. NIH has submitted an interim report to the NMCG and a final is expected in the coming months.
The E-flow cannot be maintained for Kali (East), Varuna, Gomati, and Sai as these are non-perennial rivers, states the report.
The state government plans to fix E-flow for Hindon between Saharanpur and Ghaziabad, the report said. It added E-flow for Saryu will be fixed for the polluted stretch between Ayodhya and Elafatganj, a town in Ambedkar Nagar. On Ramganga, which originates from Doodhatoli ranges in Uttarakhand’s Pauri Garhwal, the plan is to fix E-flow from Moradabad to Kannauj where it meets Ganga.
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