U`khand: TERI, Ganga Action Parivar to prepare green report
New Delhi/Dehradun: TERI and Ganga Action Parivar have come together to prepare a report for green development in Uttarakhand with the help of foreign experts who have earlier worked in rebuilding tsunami-affected areas in Japan.
Dr RK Pachauri, head of the energy and resources institute (TERI) and Muni Chidanand Saraswati, head of Ganga Action Parivar and Parmarth Niketan ashram met in Rishikesh on June 26 to finalise the modalities.
The two organisations will prepare a report in a month and hand it over to the central and the Uttarakhand governments.
"We no longer can have unplanned, unchecked development and deforestation. A new vision of development for eco- sensitive, fragile Himalayas is must. Our focus will be on pilgrimage and tourism without disturbing local environment," Chidanand Saraswati told PTI over phone from Rishikesh.
He said foreign experts will be roped in for advisory role in the project. "We will also be partnering with Cal- Earth (NGO) which has the expertise in building eco-friendly, quake, fire and flood-proof structures," he said.
When asked about the focus areas, Saraswati said it will include waste management, civic development, employment and agricultural plans.
"The report will be submitted to the Centre, the state government before the monsoon ends so that its suggestions may be implemented when the permanent reconstruction work is taken up. We will also have a meeting with the PM, the environment, water resources and law ministers to ensure that no reckless construction is undertaken," he said.
Saraswati also demanded a CAG-like independent body to monitor, audit and assess the ecological and commercial issues related to the Ganga.
"If we have a CAG for India, why not for Ganga? There needs to be an independent body to ensure transparency and accountability in the utilisation of the nation`s greatest wealth (Ganga)."
Asked about the plans for rehabilitation and restoration of the affected villagers, he said his organisation is mulling to adopt villages as in the case in Tamil Nadu post-tsunami.
"Our teams are headed to Uttarkashi and Rudraprayag to assess the damages. We are adopting Chandrapuri Old Village near Tilwara where 97 per cent homes have been destroyed and Gauri gaon, near Gauri Kund," he added.
Besides these, we have offered to rebuild Rambada town in an eco-friendly, sustainable way, he said.
Saraswati added that his organisation has also approached the government to be a part of the reconstruction work of the Kedarnath temple in co-operation with ASI.
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