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Analysis of Global River Restoration Experiences: Learnings and Policy Measures in the Indian Context. Asian Journal of Water, Environment and Pollution

Authors: Bedarkar Madhura, Dhingra Urvashi Gillb, Mishra Mahima, and Gopalkrishnan Santosh

Journal: IOS Press

Publication date: 2018

Publisher: IOS Press

URL: click here


Abstract:

A majority of rivers across the globe are severely impacted due to human-induced activities. As a response to this challenge, river restoration efforts have been undertaken worldwide to rejuvenate and restore rivers to their natural state. India is no exception to this. This paper discusses river restoration programmes undertaken across the world to draw learning for river restoration in India. It also presents a critical analysis of river restoration in India, with specific reference to three case studies. The method adopted for this study is benchmarking based on literature review on global river restoration experiences, supported by structured expert interviews. The paper concludes that there are certain issues with river restoration in India. River restoration projects are criticized on several grounds such as poor design, over-emphasis on beautification or ‘cosmetic make-over’ of the river and lack of public involvement and awareness. Consequently, despite of spending gigantic amounts on restoration, very little is being achieved. The study recommends that river restoration projects should have well-defined objectives, based on which a pre and post impact assessment should be conducted. There should also be greater involvement and participation of local communities, which is essential for sustaining the restored river.