Other States

Call for green corridors, floating water drones

A draft Regional Plan-2041 for the National Capital Region has made several recommendations towards protecting the environment, including improved monitoring, increasing flow of water in the Yamuna, green corridors along roads and floating water drones to clean rivers among others.

The recommendations are on ambient air quality, noise pollution, surface water quality, waste management and forest and biodiversity.

Biogas plants

The draft report said that for better utilisation of crop residue generated in the NCR, biogas plants for managing crop residue should be adopted. “It is estimated that largescale industrial biogas plants can generate about 5,000 cubic metre of biogas per day and a small family-type biogas plant can generate 1 to 10 cubic metre biogas per day,” the report said.

It also said that green corridors or tree barriers should be developed wherever possible along roads to act as a buffer and enable reducing air and noise pollution impacts, especially in residential and institutional areas.

“It also directed to ensure that environmental monitoring is being carried out regularly and adequate number of well-equipped laboratory for air, water, noise quality analysis are set up across urban and rural areasof the NCR and an online real-time monitoring system for various environmental qualities, is effectively and efficiently implemented and made operational,” the report said.

The report said that States should take initiatives to change harvesting technology and encourage farmers to use environment-friendly harvesting techniques in place of combines which results in longer stem portions being left uncut, which increases the quantity of stubble generated.

“The Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI), PUSA, has developed an affordable technique [which involves use of bio-organism to dissolve stubble] for tackling the issue of stubble burning which further reduces pollution and makes soil fertile by maintaining moisture of fields for longer duration. NCR States may collaborate with the IARI for mandatory adoption of such techniques,” the report said.

It said that the IARI technology should be made freely available to all farmers at least 15 days before the start of harvesting, along with detailed guidelines, methods, etc. for its proper use.

Yamuna pollution

About reducing pollution in the Yamuna, the report said, “For maintaining requisite environmental flow in the river downstream of barrage at Hathnikund in Haryana and at Okhla in Delhi, States should follow recommendations of 2014 report of Principal Committee under the chairmanship of Secretary Water Resources, GoI, which was also considered by the NGT in 2015, so that there is enough fresh water flowing in the river till Agra for restoration of the river’s ecological functions and can help in preservation and rejuvenation of the Yamuna floodplains in NCT-Delhi, along with adjoining tracts in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. These recommendations may also be followed for Hindon and other rivers, as applicable.”

‘Waste-to-energy’ and ‘circular economy’ concept should be widely adopted across NCR and necessary actions, including incentivisation should be taken by the States, the report said.

“Use of floating water drones/robot technology should be promoted for cleaning and collecting garbage from rivers and waterbodies. Autonomous drones technology like waste-sharks/ aqua drones which work similar to vacuum cleaners should be adopted by NCR States for cleaning of rivers/ channels and waterbodies and to help in reducing water pollution,” it said.

The report said that policies and plans being devised at district and local level should keep in view the values of ecosystem services and urban biodiversity should be considered as an integral part of overall planning.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 10:05:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/call-for-green-corridors-floating-water-drones/article36215253.ece

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