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As the environment experts red flagged the traditional de-silting of the Gagna River, the Central government has knocked the doors of IITs for sediment management for the rivers of the country.

According to sources in the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation will now go for selective de-silting in the River and chalk out a long term strategy for sediment management.

“Vinod Tare from IIT Kanpur and A K Gosain from IIT Delhi will attend a daylong brain storming session being organised by the ministry on Friday on management of sediment in the rivers of the country besides eminent experts from some other institutions,” said a senior officer in the Ministry.

Subsequently, the government will draft a comprehensive policy on sediment management in Indian rivers. The government wants a national level policy on the issue of siltation and dredging in the rivers as in various reports these two factors have been held responsible for flooding, environmental imbalance, river health and navigation.

A committee constituted to prepare a detailed project report on de-silting of the Ganga River is facing resistance from environmental experts who argue that the move would cost heavily on ecology of the river. In silt in the Ganga River is often blamed for frequent flooding in Bihar due to the tributaries of the longest river of India.

“The environment activists have blamed large scale deforestation for causing soil erosion which ultimately drains more silt in the river. They focus on large scale forestation in the river basin and also in the basin of her tributaries,” said the officer.

However, the Central government is pushing for its ambitious navigation project in the river for which de-silting is necessary as the river is too shallow for  navigation on several stretches of 1,620 km long National Waterway 1 identified from Haldia in West Bengal to Allahabad.