River Rejuvenation Project ‘Devika’

News excerpt:

The government is set to unveil North India’s first river rejuvenation project ‘Devika’.

About Project ‘Devika’

  • The project DEVIKA was launched by the Prime Minister in February 2019. 
  • It is built on the lines of ‘Namami Gange’.
  • The River rejuvenation project ‘Devika’ is in the final stages and it will be completed soon.
  • The Liquid Waste Management (LWM) project has been undertaken separately to protect the sanctity of the holy river in Udhampur, Jammu & Kashmir. 
  • This project has been included in the Government of India’s National River Conservation Project (NRCP).
  •  The LWM project with the network of pipes and manholes connecting all the households under the project is being constructed by J&K’s Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED) to protect its sanctity.
  •  Built at a cost of over Rs 190 crore, the sharing of fund allocation is in the ratio of 90:10 by the center and U.T (Jammu & Kashmir) respectively.
  •  Besides a Liquid Waste Management Project, a Solid Waste Management (SWM) project will also be constructed under Devika Rejuvenation Project which is vital in many aspects protecting the sanctity of the river. 
  •  The project also includes the construction of three sewage treatment plants, development of two cremation ghats, protection fencing and landscaping, small hydropower plants and three solar power plants.
  • After the completion of the project, the rivers will see reduction in pollution and improvement in water quality.

Conservation of Lakes and Rivers

  • The National River Conservation Plan (NRCP) by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) aims at preventing pollution of rivers and improving water quality.
  • NRCP is implemented for abatement of pollution in identified stretches of rivers in the country, excluding those in Ganga basin, by providing financial and technical assistance to the States/Union Territories (UTs) on cost sharing basis.
  • Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in association with the State Pollution Control Boards/Committees in different States/UTs has been monitoring water quality of rivers and other water bodies in the country through a network of monitoring stations under the National Water Quality Monitoring Programme.

Namami Gange Programme

  • It was launched  under the Ministry of Jal Shakti in June 2014 for a period up to 31st March, 2021 to rejuvenate River Ganga and its tributaries with a budgetary outlay of Rs.20,000 crore.
  • Considering the need and spread of the Programme, Government of India has further approved Namami Gange Mission-II with a budgetary outlay of Rs.22,500 crore till 2026 .

About Devika river

  • The Devika River originates from the hilly Suddha Mahadev temple in the Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir.
  • It flows down towards western Punjab (now in Pakistan) where it merges with the Ravi River.
  • The river presently runs under its sandy surface.

Religious significance

  •  Devika River is considered the sister of the sacred river Ganga, and it has a great religious significance.
  • This River is mentioned in the Nilmat Puran that was written in the 7th century by Nela Muni also, this river is mentioned in Devi Mahatmya  .
  • Cremation on the sands of Devika is considered as meritorious as cremation on the banks of the Ganges at Kashi.

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