Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Science & Technology; MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr Jitendra Singh on 6 August said, North India’s first River Rejuvenation Project “Devika” in Udhampur, Jammu and Kashmir, is almost complete.
The work on the project was started in March 2019 under the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP).
Dr. Jitendra Singh also informed that besides a Liquid Waste Management Project, a Solid Waste Management Project will also be constructed under the Devika Rejuvenation Project, which is vital from many aspects to protecting the sanctity of Devika River.
Under the project, bathing “ghats' ' on the banks of the river developed, encroachments removed, natural water bodies restored and catchment areas developed.
National River Conservation Plan (NRCP)
- The Central Government started the river pollution abatement programme by launching the Ganga Action Plan (GAP-I) in 1985. Subsequently, the GAP Phase II was launched in 1993 for pollution abatement of river Yamuna and Gomti, major tributaries of river Ganga. The river pollution abatement programme was further expanded to include other major rivers of the country in 1995 under the aegis of the National River Conservation Plan (NRCP). Finally, in December 1996, GAP Phase II was also merged with the NRCP and all projects for river cleaning in the country were brought under one umbrella scheme of NRCP. The objective of NRCP is to reduce the pollution load in rivers by implementing various pollution abatement works, thereby improving their water quality.
- All works relating to Ganga and its tributaries have been transferred to the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation. The Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change is presently implementing the works for pollution abatement of rivers other than the Ganga and its tributaries.
The Devika River holds religious significance as Hindus revere it as the sister of the Ganga. Also known as Devika Nagari, it originates from the hilly Suddha Mahadev temple in Udhampur and flows down towards western Punjab (now in Pakistan), where it merges with the Ravi River.