Experts are of the opinion that apart from other approaches what is more important is the behavioural change of people for rejuvenation of rivers Mahanadi and Godavari.
While speaking at a workshop organised here recently, Principal Secretary in the Department of Water Resources Pradeep Jena said for rejuvenation of the rivers it is primarily necessary to remove all blockages in the way of natural flow of river water and total stoppage of house construction work in the lower area.
“It is important that our behaviour should change first. It is more important than any structural change,” he said.
The preliminary workshop on rejuvenation of the Mahanadi and the Godavari river water systems through intervention of the Forest Department held elaborate deliberations among different Government and non-Government stakeholders as to preparation of the Detailed Project Report (DPR).
Following a decision by the Department of Forest, Environment and Climate Change for preservation and rejuvenation of 13 major rivers in the country, the Institute of Forest Productivity, Ranchi, has been given the responsibility of preparing the DPR for Mahanadi whereas the DPR for Godavari will be prepared by the Institute of Forest Biodiversity of Andhra Pradesh. The workshop aimed at interaction among the stakeholders over the details of the proposed project report, was organised by the Institute of Forest Productivity, Ranchi and the Institute of Forest Diversity, Hyderabad in collaboration with the Department of Forest, Government of Odisha.
Other speakers said construction of barrages and dams on the river basin, mining of sand and pebbles in the riverbed, construction of roads, effluents from sewerage,
water for industries and deforestation in the catchment areas cause impediment in water flow.
They said all these activities degrade the quality of river water and result in preventing water being pollution free in natural manner.
The deliberations underlined the holistic approach along with creating awareness about these activities among the individual and organisational stakeholders through intervention by the Forest Department.
The objectives of the DRR include study of the existing situation of the Mahanadi and the Godavari river basins, keeping in view the lessons learnt from past river management practices, projects of the departments, agencies and organisations, forestry activities with regard to the river management programme for regeneration, improvement and restoration of forest catchments, present condition of riparian forests as potential of biological filters, examination of the possibility of
allied and other income generation activities, information about cultivation of medicinal plants, restoration of conservation areas, and identification of appropriate and specific sites, identification of
prioritization of critical areas for implementation of plan, choice of appropriate species and development of site-specific models in riparian, agrarian and urban landscapes, usage of technology for survey and monitoring, formulation of strategies or approaches and activity plan for project implementation.
Participants in the first session included Dr PK Mathur from Deradun, Dr Sarat Tiwari from Ranchi, Dr PK Das from Ranchi and Additional Chief Principal Conservator of Forests Dr AK Pathak. Participants in the second session included scientist Dr PH Chowhan, Dr R Jouheri, Dr S Pattnaik, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Sandeep Tripathy and Director of Horticulture BK Upadhyaya.