27 November 2022
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The Yamuna river has always been a central feature of urbanisation and development in Delhi. Though long relegated as the backyard of the city, there have been several attempts to recentre it through recent riverfront and Master Plans. In the city’s recently released Master Plan for 2041, it occupies a central position in its section on environment. Can the Yamuna be integrated into Delhi’s daily life and experience like the Hooghly is to Kolkata?

Kolkata today produces roughly half its vegetables within the city through its wetlands that cover an area of 12,500 hectares. With Yamuna’s floodplains covering over 8,000 hectares, can Delhi imagine a food-secure future, free from sudden shocks such as the one Covid-19 posed for cities in 2020?

In this article, we unpack what has been envisaged for the river and its floodplains over the next two decades, as well as the livelihoods and neighborhoods associated with it.

River-people connect

While the imaginations of the Yamuna in previous Delhi master plans have ranged from building amusement parks along it to creating biodiversity parks, the latest plan focuses on reviving the lost “river people connect” between the city and the river. Taking forward the ecological aspirations of MPD 2021, the new plan identifies the…

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Abdul Gh Lone

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