Chitale Committee suggests measures for de-silting Ganga

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New Delhi, May 19 (IANS) The Chitale Committee of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation has recommended creation of sand registry for de-silting of the Ganga, an official said on Friday.

The committee has also recommended an institute be established for flood routing studies, said a statement.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Water Resources, the committee has recomended “a slew of measures” which includes study to guide de-silting activities, sand registry for de-silting and a technical institute to conduct the sediment budget, flood routing studies and confirm the necessity of the de-silting of section of the river.

The committee was asked to establish the difference between desilting and sand mining and also establish the need for desilting for ecology and environmental flow of the Ganga river.

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The committee, headed by expert member of National Ganga River Basin Authority Madhav Chitale, was constituted in July 2016 by the Ministry of Water Resources to prepare guidelines for desilting the Ganga from Bhimgauda in Uttarakhand to Farakka in West Bengal.

The committee includes Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, and Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune, Director Mukesh Sinha.

“The committee in its report says erosion, sediment transport and siltation are very complex phenomena. It is impossible to apply a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to sediment management and control, because the issues involved are frequently very regionally-specific,” the statement said.

“At the same time, indiscriminate de-siltation works may result in more harm to ecology and environment flow. Thus, there is a need to evolve guidelines, better broad principles, which should be kept in mind while planning and implementing de-silting works,” it added.

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The committee suggests good agricultural practices, river bank anti-erosion works and avoiding encroachment of flood plain and reclamation of adjoining lakes along the river.

The committee also recommended de-silting of adjoining lakes to increase their storage capacities.

Asking for dredging of shoals in the Farakka Barrage, the committee suggested the “sediment removed may be used for re-grading the Farakka Feeder Canal”.

The Chitale Committee also asked for the modification in the bridges across the Ganga which are causing large afflux (more than one per cent of normal depth) to reduce the sediment deposition and erosion of banks on the upstream.



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