May 15, 2024

Meeting on Periyar River Conservation Project Held at NIT Calicut

A crucial meeting on the Periyar River Conservation Project was convened at NIT Calicut, on May 15. Prof. Prasad Krishna, Director of NIT Calicut, welcomed attendees and provided a brief introduction about the institute, followed by self-introduction by participants.

Shri P. K. Agrawal, Joint Secretary of the National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD), Ministry of Jal Shakti, addressed the assembly, emphasizing the expectations of the government for the CAMP Project. He highlighted the need for timely basin management plans focusing on pollution abatement and stakeholder consultation for realistic and implementable outcomes.

Shri N Ashok Babu, Director of NRCD, presented on the Healthy River Program, detailing pollution assessment and abatement activities and conservation initiatives such as the Ganga Action Plan and the Yamuna Action Plans. He discussed NRCP initiatives, including pollution abatement works and the Ecological Assessment of Rivers, with financial backing from the World Bank.

Dr. Tanveer Ahmed from the Wildlife Institute of India shared preliminary findings from the “Assessment of the Ecological Status of Some Peninsular Rivers for Conservation Planning” project. He presented data on the Periyar River's ecosystem, stressing the importance of public awareness activities.

Prof. Vinod Tare of IIT Kanpur emphasized the need for coordination between IIT Palakkad and NIT Calicut in data collection and project tasks. He proposed regular meetings and the creation of a stakeholder database for effective project implementation.

Subsequent presentations by Dr. Subhasis Mitra from IIT Palakkad and Dr. Santosh G Thampi from NIT Calicut highlighted their institutional frameworks for the Periyar River CAMP Project. Both institutes are collaborating on data collection, with IIT Palakkad focusing on the upstream and NIT Calicut on the downstream segments. Hydrological and hydraulic modeling will be conducted by IIT Palakkad and NIT Calicut, respectively.

The meeting also discussed the inclusion of the Chalakudy River basin in the study, with consensus to incorporate it due to its significance. Prof. Vinod Tare concluded with a presentation on Water Vision @ 2047, addressing sustainable river management practices.

In their closing remarks, Shri P. K. Agrawal, Prof. A. Seshadri Sekhar, and Prof. Prasad Krishna reiterated the importance of environmental flows, floodplain zoning, and pollution abatement. They assured full support and collaboration for the successful implementation of the project.