Plea to L-G, CM to protect Yamuna

Feeling blue:Enviornmentalists say that the pseudo bridges can severely impact the river’s ecology, including its ability to freely convey flood water downstream.  

Concerned about the already-stressed Yamuna, environmentalists have written to Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal seeking their intervention in protecting the river.

A letter by the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan (YJA), which had appealed to the National Green Tribunal (NGT) against the Art of Living festival being organised on the river banks earlier this year, said it was shocking that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) was now planning to construct two pseudo bridges on the Yamuna - one on either side of the existing Nizamuddin bridge as part of the Delhi-Meerut Expressway.

Adding to the chaos?

According to YJA convener Manoj Misra, there are several issues with the plan. In his letter, Mr. Misra says that pseudo bridges severely impact a river’s ecology, including its ability to freely convey flood water downstream.

This involves constructing a bridge only over a river’s lean season flow, leaving the flood plains obstructed and cut-off because of embanked roads approaching the bridge.

Restricting the river

This severely restricts a river’s ability to meander and increases the ferocity of floods.

“The Yamuna Standing Committee (YSC) has already adopted a policy decision to not allow the construction of any more of pseudo bridges on the Yamuna. As a result, both the Metro bridge and Barapula Phase III are coming up downstream of the planned pseudo bridges. It is strange that the NHAI plans and drawings do not refer to these elevated corridors anywhere. We wonder if this plan has been submitted to the Yamuna Standing Committee (YSC) for preview and approval?” he asked.

The YJA, which has already warned that this plan could further create traffic congestion on NH-24, also said it has taken into account the fact that the NGT, in a 2012 order, had prohibited any new construction in the Yamuna flood plain in Delhi.

The YJA has warned that the bridges could further add to the traffic congestion

on NH-24

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