A representative from Isha Foundation presented the 760-page Rally for Rivers Draft Policy Recommendations document to the Hon’ble Forest Minister of Rajasthan, Shri. Gajendra Singh Khimsar at Jaipur today. The 760-page draft policy recommendation makes a comprehensive set of recommendations covering all aspects of river revitalization, groundwater aquifer recharge, and enhancing the rapidly deteriorating organic content of the soil. The core recommendation proposes plantation for a minimum of one kilometer on either side of the river beyond the active floodplain mark of the river as the simplest and most effective solution to revitalizing rivers. It recommends forest trees on government land and tree-based agriculture on private farmlands in the river basin to ensure rivers are fed throughout the year by the moist soil. This will also reduce floods, drought and soil loss, and significantly increase farmers’ incomes. The central government has set up a group under NITI Aayog to examine the suggestions. Secretaries of six relevant ministries including water resources, environment, agriculture, urban development, drinking water & sanitation and rural development are members of the group.
Isha Foundation has signed MoUs with governments of Karnataka, Punjab, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh and Assam for the revitalization of rivers and increasing green cover in the states.