Nineteen states are yet to respond to the Centre’s plan to formulate a Draft River Regulation Zone (RRZ) which envisages setting up of a National River Conservation Zone Authority, government told the Rajya Sabha today.
Replying to supplementaries during Question Hour, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar said the government will proceed on the issue after receiving the response of states while asserting that protecting river ecology was its paramount duty.
He informed the House that his ministry has formulated a Draft River Regulation Zone (RRZ) under the provisions of Environment (Protection)Act, 1986 and circulated it to State/ UT governments/administration on January 8 this year.
“The draft has been sent to states. 10 states have responded to it. Some have raised objections. Some have supported it. We have written to the remaining 19 states to give their response. As soon as the responses come, we will hold a meeting,” he said.
The draft RRZ is proposed to have three cateogries of River Conversation Zone (RCZ), namely Prohibited Activities Zone (RCZ-PA), Restricted Activities Zone (RCZ-RA I) and Regulated Activities Zone (RCZ-RA II) in the floodplains of rivers and two categories of river conservation zones, namely RCZ-PA and RCZ-RA I in mountain rivers and streams.
Javadekar said this while replying to a question about the steps taken by the Ministry to regulate developmental activities on river fronts and floodplains.
Javadekar replied in negative to a question on whether there was any proposal to ban all developmental activities near vulnerable floodplain and river beds.
“The draft RRZ notification does not ban all developmental activities near vulnerable floodplains and river beds. It proposes to prohibit, restrict as well as regulate certain activities in the river conservation zones in order to conserve and protect river ecosystem in the country,” he said.