Devika River Project: J&K | 04 Jun 2021

Why in News

Recently, the Minister of State for Development of North Eastern Region has asked for suggestions for the Devika River project in Udhampur, J&K.

Key Points

  • About:
    • This is a Rs. 190 crore Project.
    • The work on the project was started in March 2019 under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP).
    • Under the project, bathing “ghats” (places) on the banks of the Devika River will be developed, encroachments will be removed, natural water bodies will be restored and catchment areas will be developed along with cremation ground.
    • The project includes the construction of three sewage treatment plants, sewerage network of 129.27 km, development of two cremation ghats, protection fencing and landscaping, small hydropower plants and three solar power plants.
    • On completion of the project, the rivers will see reduction in pollution and improvement in water quality.
  • About Devika River:
    • Devika river originates from the hilly Suddha Mahadev temple in Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir and flows down towards western Punjab (now in Pakistan) where it merges with the Ravi river.
    • The river holds religious significance as it is revered by Hindus as the sister of river Ganga.
    • In June 2020, Devika Bridge was inaugurated in Udhampur. Apart from taking care of traffic congestion, the Devika Bridge was also meant to help smooth passage of Army convoys and vehicles.

National River Conservation Plan

  • About:
    • National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) is a centrally funded scheme launched in 1995 aimed at preventing the pollution of rivers.
    • Programs for river conservation are being implemented under National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) and NGRBA (National Ganga River Basin Authority).
  • Activities under NRCP:
    • Interception and Diversion works to capture the raw sewage flowing into the river through open drains and divert them for treatment.
    • Sewage Treatment Plants for treating the diverted sewage.
    • Low Cost Sanitation works to prevent open defecation on riverbanks.
    • Electric Crematoria and Improved Wood Crematoria to conserve the use of wood and help in ensuring proper cremation of bodies brought to the burning ghats.
    • River Front Development works such as improvement of bathing ghats.
    • Public awareness and public participation.
    • Human Resource Development (HRD), capacity building, training and research in the area of River Conservation.
    • Other miscellaneous works depend upon location specific conditions including the interface with human population.

Source: PIB