Decks cleared for conservation of river Devika

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The decks have been cleared over the much talked about river Devika conservation programme with Union Environment Ministry approving the proposal in principle submitted to it by Union Minister of State in PMO with independent Charge of North Eastern States and MP Kathua, Udhampur, Doda Parliamentary Constituency, Dr Jitendra Singh in July last year and forwarding a detailed project report to Finance Ministry for obtaining budgetary allocation for the same.
Confirming this to said, Union Minister of State with independent Charge of Environment Prakash Javadekar said that his Ministry is obtaining special budgetary allocation for the project during current budget session for clearance of river Devika in Udhampur district of the State.
Devika is going to be first ever project of the State which has been taken in hand by Union Environment Ministry under the ambitious National River Conservation Plan.
Sources in Union Enviro-nment Ministry said that soon after the allocation of funds the work on the cleanliness of river Devika will start by April-May next year. The conservation of river Devika has been a long pending demand of the people of Udhampur in particular and other areas of Jammu region in general as the river is considered as sacred by them as Ganga in Haridwar.
Sources said that the team of experts from Union Ministry of Environment has already made the survey of the Devika and also taken water and soil testing of the river. Later, they submitted the report to the Ministry with their observations.
Under the National River Conservation Plan the bed of Devika will be cleaned fully to allow the proper flow of water with construction of embankments to avoid the flood furry and smooth flow of water through river, save the river and adjoining areas from pollution and environmental hazards.
Sources said for working out the cost for the Devika Project, the Environment Ministry has also constituted a Committee of experts which has been asked to submit the report as early as possible. However, Union Environment Ministry has sought the budgetary allocations from Finance Ministry so that the provision of starting the work in next financial year can be kept, sources added.
It may be recalled that Dr. Jitendra Singh has moved a proposal for cleaning river Devika which flows through Udhampur town and taken up the issue with Union Ministry of Environment for including the river Devika under Government of India’s “National River Conservation Plan”.
In a letter addressed to Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar in July this year, Dr. Jitendra Singh underlined the concern that over a period of time, due to increase in pollution from various sources including municipal sewage, river Devika.

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