Rishikesh, May 9 (IANS) Experts, environmentalists and spiritual leaders Thursday demanded that the government should ensure free flow of at least 51 percent of water in the Ganga and Yamuna, two major Indian rivers.
The activists called for ensuring the continuity of flow in the two rivers to maintain their ecology.
They were participating in a workshop organised by the 'IITians for Holy Ganga', a forum constituted by IIT alumni to preserve heritage and ecology of the Ganga river, and Ganga Action Parivar (GAP), a body of engineers, activists and spiritual leaders and Parmarth Niketan.
The two-day workshop, which was conducted in Rishikesh, concluded Thursday.
Experts attending the workshop also suggested setting up of National River Ganga Basin Management Commission under the chairmanship of Prime Minister of Manmohan Singh for finding permanent solutions for both the rivers.
"Continuity of the river system in both the rivers is must. At present, the Ganga alone has been fragmented at 11 places with coming up and existing dams and barrages," said Vinod Tare, professor at IIT Kanpur and coordinator of Ganga River Basin Management Plan (GRBMP) set up by the environment ministry.
"Continuity flow is needed for eco-system and lifeline of inhabitants of the river. At present central government has already agreed on 30 percent to 50 percent of free flow of water during various seasons. What we are demanding is 51 percent free flow around the year," Tare said.
Experts attending the workshop discussed current challenges being faced by both the holy rivers and suggest ways to protect and maintain free-flowing and unpolluted state of both the rivers, Ganga and Yamuna.
"We need to find workable solutions to the problems of pollution and obstruction. Both the holy rivers Ganga and Yamuna. They are the life source of region and also a powerful symbol of cultural and spiritual renewal. The minimum ecological flows of the rivers ensuring water quality and environmentally sustainable development should be maintained," said Swami Chidanand Sarswati, chief coordinator of the workshop and head Ganga Action Pariwar.
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