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PM sets up panel on Yamuna
Vibha Sharma
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 6
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today decided to set up a high-powered committee for the conservation and development of Yamuna with the Lt-Governor and Chief Minister of Delhi as co-chairpersons, saying that development of the river front was an exercise which needs to be approached with due care.

The decision was taken at a high-level review meeting to discuss the conservation and development of the river, amongst other issues, in the light of environmental concerns raised on the building of the Commonwealth Games village on the riverbed.

The meeting was was attended by home minister Shivraj Patil, union minister of urban development S. Jaipal Reddy, Lt-Governor of Delhi Tejender Khanna and Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit. Principal secretary to the Prime Minister T.K.A Nair, cabinet secretary K.M.Chandrasekhar and other senior officials were also present.

The setting up of the high-powered committee for the Yamuna assumes importance as during the past few months environmentalists’ protest against the Delhi metro’s infrastructure and the proposed village for the 2010 Commonwealth Games on the Yamuna riverbed has been gaining momentum.

Environmentalists have been saying that any further construction on the riverbed will cause irreversible harm to the river, its fragile eco-system, the water table in the region and the people living in the area. Last week, they also started a satyagraha on the proposed site, demanding re-location of the village.

According to the PMO, the new committee will have the participation of all stakeholders and commission studies on conservation and development of the river. “Development of the river front, however, is an exercise which needs to be approached with due care, after proper studies on different aspects,” it added.

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