Structures across rivers have been built since times immemorial until this day – logjams and Bamboo bridges to Steel and Concrete structures. However, the rapidity at which rivers are being stopped, bridged, dammed and altered has begun to reach alarming proposition that threatens the very life of the River. River Yamuna as it flows through the highly urbanized corridor of Delhi is a matter of concern because of pollution, constructions across the river and relentless encroachment of the floodplains. The eviction of poor slum dwellers in pockets along the banks of Yamuna was a phase when the city administration prided itself with saving the river but ironically, this has not led to compatible use but has witnessed much more destructive activities in the floodplains. Yamuna’s water flows are regulated through barrages upstream and the seasonal flows depend on rainfall in the upper catchment and release from barrages upstream. Environmental concerns of a river system owing to increased invasion of activities over and within it demands comprehensive evaluation of impacts. This study has attempted to understand and document these impacts.
Today, River Yamuna is a longitudinal district, segmented by several road and rail bridges to provide regional and local connectivity. These structures, largely for economic considerations, have been built as embankments for all but the small segment of the flow- channel thus hindering the natural expanse of floodplains and increasing flood vulnerability. Transportation projects like Delhi MRTS, Road and rail bridges pass through the river with their approaches at both ends forming a pocket of restriction or static pockets. More we concretise and erect structures lesser is going to be the capacity of floodplains as the latest case of Delhi Metro which has erected its facilities at two places in the floodplains. Plethora of institutions involved seems loosely integrated with institutional responsibilities and each one’s bias is visible.Read Report