RRZ rules to protect river beds: Jairam

Rivers like Yamuna have already seen a lot of construction on their river beds

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Neha Sethi | January 7, 2011



The ministry of environment and forests is now "very seriously" considering the idea of a river regulation zone (RRZ), based on the existing coastal regulation zone (CRZ), environment and forest minister Jairam Ramesh said on Friday. The RRZ will regulate constructions in the river beds.

“Some civil society groups have given the idea of RRZ,” Ramesh said at a conference in New Delhi. He said that the country will be able to have RRZ in a few months “to protect our vanishing river beds.”

The minister said that this will protect the river beds from constructions on them, although some rivers like the Yamuna have already seen a lot of construction.

He said that the Akshardham temple was the first culprit to come up on the Yamuna river bed. “And then others followed,” he added.

"Akshardham didn't get the clearance. Akshardham didn't apply for the environmental clearance," Ramesh said. He said that what had been constructed couldn’t be demolished but the need was to protect the remaining river.

Manoj Misra, the convener of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, one of the civil society groups that have been demanding a RRZ for a long time now said that this is a major breakthrough. “Even thoug the concept of RRZ came about in 2002, a lot of civil society groups have been demanding it since 2007,” he added.

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