The Centre is working on rejuvenation of 13 rivers across the country and their detailed project reports (DPR) are already being prepared, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said on Thursday. He said this during an interaction with Sadhguru, Founder, Isha Foundation, on the occasion of the anniversary of "Cauvery Calling" movement launched by the latter last year with an aim to revitalise the river.
"We have already prepared detailed project reports or DPRs of 13 rivers. River Ganga is already under implementation. The 13 important rivers being taken care of are Beas, Chenab, Jhelum, Ravi, Sutlej, Luni, Yamuna, Narmada, Godavari, Kaveri, Krishna, Brahmaputra and Mahanadi," Javadekar told Sadhguru during the virtual interaction. The minister was referring to the technical study assigned to Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE), Dehradun, by the Environment ministry to assess the river landscape and prepare a DPR for forestry interventions required for rejuvenation of the 13 rivers.
Javadekar was in conversation with Sadhguru, who has been the initiator of movements like 'Cauvery Calling' and 'Rally for Rivers' to spread the message of river revitalisation across the world. Talking about the movement, Sadhguru said 'Cauvery Calling' promotes tree-based agriculture on private farmlands in the Cauvery basin and aims to enable over 50 lakh farmers to plant 242 crore high-value trees on their farms for economic gain.
"This will not only put one-third of the river basin under shade and significantly improve soil health and groundwater tables, it will also substantially increase farmer income to anywhere between three to eight times in five to seven years. "It is also expected to sequester up to 12 trillion litres of water in the Cauvery river basin and recharge all water bodies in the region including augmenting source flow of river Cauvery," he said.
Speaking about the steps being taken for conservation of plantations being destroyed by animal attacks which in turn is leading to human-animal conflicts, Javadekar said his government is working on water and fodder augmentation programme. "We have selected 28 forests in 28 states, 10,000 hectares each where catchment area treatment will be carried and DPR have been prepared using latest technology," he said.
Sadhguru also stressed about the need to tackle human-animal conflict and praised the ministry's water and fodder augmentation programme launched earlier this year. "Water and fodder augmentation is vital for addressing human-animal conflict. Human population has grown immensely. So we have to make compromises and not them (animals).
"We must also complete the mission of making green cover 33 per cent in India and stop exploiting forests for its produce. We have to bring back trees," Sadhguru said. During the interaction, the environment minister also assured the farmers that whatever they grow on their land, will be theirs.
"Your plantation will not be called as forests and not be taken away from you. It will remain yours only," the minister said.