By Nivedita Khandekar
New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) An agency under the Ministry of Jal Shakti is working on a draft framework to find feasible solutions to the problem of siltation in the reservoirs across the country.
Siltation is a major worry for planners and policy makers. There are two fold threats due to this. One, siltation of rivers, particularly in the Northern part where Himalayan origin rivers bring down a lot of rubble and silt, has accentuated the flooding problem.
Second, over the years, siltation in reservoirs reduces their capacity. On the one hand, it is a huge economic loss as the reservoirs do not operate on full capacity and on the other hand, it also increases the silt load that can eventually affect the safety of the dam/reservoir barrage.
This was a topic much on top of agenda during a recent flood review meeting held by the Home Ministry. Soon after that meeting, a committee was formed by the Central Water Commission (CWC)
“A framework for desilting was discussed during that meeting. Focus of course would be on reducing silt generation through catchment area treatment rather than silt removal. It was discussed that silt removal is not very techno-economic feasible,” said a senior official from the Ministry, adding, “The framework will also consider the innovative technologies and climate change scenario.”
Apart from the heavy silt load brought down by the Himalayan rivers, encroachments on flood plains are also the prime reason for increased losses due to flood, it was discussed how best flood plain zoning can be implemented through some incentive and disincentive measures.
“The draft framework is almost ready. We are fine tuning it and it will be out and ready for implementation soon,” the official said.