Rejuvenation Project of 13 Rivers

On 14th March, Ministry for Forest, Environment, and Climate Change announced the project for the rejuvenation of 13 major rivers in the country.

Selected Rivers

The 13 Rivers that will form part of the rejuvenation project include:

    1. Himalayan Rivers: Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej, Yamuna, and Brahmaputra.
    2. Deccan or Peninsular Rivers: Narmada, Godavari, Mahanadi, Krishna, & Cauvery.
    3. Inland drained Category River: Luni.

These 13 rivers cover nearly 57.45% of India’s geographical area.

Four goals of the project

The river rejuvenation project seeks to achieve the following four goals:

  1. Sustainable management of rivers and their landscapes.
  2. Biodiversity conservation and ecological restoration.
  3. Improving sustainable livelihoods.
  4. Knowledge management.

About the project

  • Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education (ICFRE) prepared the detailed project reports (DPRs) of the 13 rivers selected for rejuvenation.
  • The cost of the project is projected to be 19,342.62 crores and will take five years to be implemented.
  • The plan is to rejuvenate rivers by creating riparian forests or planting trees along the river. This project could increase India’s forest cover by up to 7,417 square kilometers. The riparian forests function as the natural buffers and biofilters, thereby supplementing the self-purification process of rivers.
  • These forests will create creating carbon sinks, as they absorb atmospheric carbon dioxide; thereby helping India in meeting the carbon sequestration goals.
  • According to Detailed project reports (DPRs) prepared by ICFRE, these riparian forests have the potential to sequester 50.21 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) after 10 years, while after 20 years they are expected to sequester 74.76 million tonnes of CO2e. CO2 equivalent means Carbon dioxide (CO2) or any other GHG having the same global warming potential as CO2.

India’s targets

India had pledged to create a carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2e by 2030. In 2015, as a part of the Bonn Challenge, India pledged to restore 5 million ha of degraded land by 2030.

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