J&K floods: Govt mulling regulation along rivers

In view of the disastrous floods in Jammu and Kashmir, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday proposed preparing a River Regulation Zone notification to protect riverbeds from harmful constructions in future.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 16, 2014, 22:27 PM IST

New Delhi: In view of the disastrous floods in Jammu and Kashmir, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday proposed preparing a River Regulation Zone notification to protect riverbeds from harmful constructions in future.

Javadekar said such calamities could cause massive damage again if big constructions are coming up in the fragile riverbeds.

Responding to queries on whether the government viewed the Jammu and Kashmir floods as envrionmental disaster, Javadekar said, "Kashmir can be described in many ways... Uttarakhand also...If you are constructing hotels and homes on river-bed... So we are considering river-bed regulatory zone."

Such a proposal was actively under consideration by the Centre during UPA rule when Jairam Ramesh was the Minister for Environment.

Javadekar also rejected suggestions that the government was planning to dilute the Forest Rights Act brought by UPA.

He clarified that the government was examining what happened in the last five years after the Act was brought into effect in 2008.

"Inter departmental consultation is an ongoing process... If it is to be amended, we will amend it. Tribals have right to development. You can't make them anthropology showpieces," he said.