Srinagar, Sep 17: In a significant move to restore the pristine glory of river Jhelum, the Government of India has prepared a detailed project report (DPR) for its rejuvenation through forestry interventions.
The DPR has been prepared by the Himalayan Forestry Research Institute (HFRI), Shimla, one of the regional institutes of the Indian Council for Forest Research and Education (ICFRE), after the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change (MOEF&CC) asked it to do so.
The draft was finalized after incorporating the feedback and specific comments received from Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory, line departments, ICFRE, and MOEF&CC.
According to the proposal, the first phase of the project has been planned for a duration of five years with UT’s forest department acting as its nodal agency.
The DPR proposes forestry interventions for natural, agricultural and urban landscapes.
“The ‘natural landscape’ constituted the largest zone among the various categories of land use/ land cover of the natural environment and represented in a larger part of the riverscape. A total of 10 models/ treatment plans have been proposed focusing on forests, grasslands, and wetlands in various prioritized sites based on geospatial analysis. The main focus includes; protection, soil and moisture conservation works, control of invasive and alien species, plantations, eco-restoration,” reads the proposal.
The DPR proposes to promote the planting of economic and fruit trees in the agricultural landscape to enhance the overall conservation values and other expected ecological functions and ecosystem services.
“Two plantation/treatment models have been proposed for the agriculture landscapes,” it states.
The proposed interventions in the third lower order zone i.e., the urban landscape include activities related to the development of bioremediation models, riverfront development, eco-park, and institutional and industrial estate plantations.
“Four treatment models have been proposed for this landscape,” the DPR states.
The projected financial outlay of the first phase of the project is Rs 356.23 crore while that of the second phase is Rs 64. 52 crore.