North India's first river rejuvenation project 'Devika' carried out at a cost of over Rs 190 crore is nearing completion, Union minister Jitendra Singh said on Sunday.
The Minister of State for Science and Technology was chairing a meeting in Udhampur to review the project.
Considered the sister of the sacred Ganga river, the Devika river originates from the hilly Suddha Mahadev temple in the Udhampur district of Jammu and Kashmir and flows down towards western Punjab (now in Pakistan) where it merges with the Ravi river.
“The Devika project is nearing completion. Built at a cost of over Rs 190 crore on the lines of ‘Namami Gange’, the project was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Singh said.
This project has been included in the Government of India’s National River Conservation Project (NRCP). The work to rejuvenate the Devika river started in March 2019 and was scheduled to be completed in two years but missed the deadline due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the rejuvenation project, liquid waste management work is being carried out by the Urban Environmental Engineering Department (UEED) by building a network of pipes and manholes, he added.
"The Rs 190 crore fund allotted for the project is being shared in the ratio of 90:10 by the Centre and the Union Territory respectively,” Singh, who represents the Udhampur parliamentary constituency in the parliament, said.
The project, inter alia, includes the construction of three sewage treatment plants of 8 MLD, 4 MLD and 1.6 MLD capacity, a sewerage network of 129.27 km, development of two cremation ghats, protection fencing and landscaping, small hydropower plants and three solar power plants.
During the review meeting, the minister said a solid waste management project will also be carried out on the Devika river, which is vital in protecting the sanctity of the river.
Singh asserted that the role of Panchayati Raj Institutions is vital for the success of major developmental projects being the representatives of the grassroots level of society.
The PRIs present in Sunday's meeting raised many issues with the minister for which he directed the departments concerned to address the issues at the earliest possible.
-With PTI Input