“Green mantra for Gomti” by Hindustan Times
Monday, May 9, 2011
Fruitful Journey: Gomti Yatra has gone a long way in identifying solutions for a pollution-free river. Ambedkar university professor spells out environment-friendly measures after his study.
- Remove encroachments from flood plains of Gomti
- Declare 500 metres from the river midstream as no-construction zone
- This area should be used only for plantation.
LUCKNOW:If measures like the above are taken, then Gomti can again become ‘aviral’ (free flowing) and ‘nirmal’ (clean).
Concentrated efforts by the district administration and a bit of awareness on part of citizens can go a long way in accomplishing this task.
These are some of the findings of the study carried out by Venkatesh Dutta, an assistant professor of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, on the 960-km stretch of Gomti during the just concluded River Gomti Yatra from Pilibhit to Ghazipur. He delivered a talk on some of these findings at the Institute of Engineers in Riverbank Colony on Sunday.
He suggested that the flood plains – right from the origin (Pilibhit) to the confluence with the Ganga (near Varanasi) be demarcated and there should be a freeze on its land-use.
He called upon the authorities to declare the origin as well as confluence of all 23 tributaries of Gomti as ‘eco-fragile areas’.
Dutta suggested that a massive plantation drive for the next 10 years along the banks of the river would be of help.
This will result in river gardens, which would help in developing micro eco-systems for birds, insects and other flora and fauna. These parks will help in developing bonding of local people with the river.
“While UP’s forest cover is 9.01% of its total geographical area, the total forest cover in the Gomti basin is just 4.10%. This indicates that the basin is deficient in green cover.
Ideally, the green cover in the basin could be increased to 12%, but this will require a substantial increase in the existing green cover.
Therefore, the need of the hour is a massive plantation drive in the basin. Ample land is available by the sides of the river, which can be utilised for forestation,” he said.
Gomti can be made free flowing and clean if these steps are taken, said this environmentalist who has been an integral part of River Gomti Yatra that concluded last month in which they studied tributaries of river Gomti.