Pune : deccan express – Pune River Rejuvenation Project | The Mula-Mutha River Rejuvenation Project and the Mula-Mutha Riverfront Development Project are being implemented with the help of Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) and the central government. The Pune Municipal Corporation has approved works amounting to thousands of crores under these projects.
However, some ruling BJP office-bearers are doubtful whether it would really ensure a proper treatment of the sewage generated in the city. They have now put forth a proposal before the standing committee to appoint an expert consultant firm to prepare a DPR on sewage coming through various nullahs in the river.
A draft plan for these projects was prepared seven years ago. In the first stage, sewerage lines will be laid to carry sewerage to the sewage treatment plants (STPs). In the second stage, 11 STPs will be constructed at various places. The Jica has given a Rs 850-crore grant for this. However, tenders for the project amount to Rs 1,500 crore. The civic body will have to spend around Rs 650 crore more from its own exchequer.
The PMC has also approved the Riverfront Development Project estimated to cost Rs 4,700 crore. It is claimed that the 44-km long riverbanks will be beautified in an environment-friendly manner and various civic amenities such as jogging tracks, gardens, etc will be provided. Tenders for these projects will be approved and its ground-breaking ceremony will be conducted at the hands of Prime Minister Narendra Modi soon.
However, environmentalists, nature lovers and citizens are doubtful about the implementation of these projects. They demand that first the sewage treatment needs to be done successfully, only then the riverfront project can be implemented. They claim that if polluted water coming into the river is treated, pollution will be reduced drastically.
Citizens are also upset that the existing causeways will be demolished for the riverfront development project. This is likely to cause traffic issues in the heart of the city for a long time. Some roads will also be closed.
Now, BJP group leader and leader of the house Ganesh Bidkar and former deputy mayor Dr Siddharth Dhende have submitted the proposal to get a DPR prepared from an expert consultant on the pipelines that would carry sewage to the STPs. This underlines the fact that while preparing these projects, sewerage carried through the nullahs was not considered. However, if this aspect has been considered, then why have the office-bearers submitted the proposal?
The river rejuvenation and riverfront development are very vital from the environmental point of view. The civic administration has very meticulously prepared the DPR. However, some environmentalists have suggested that the sewage coming through the nullahs should not be allowed to be emptied without treatment. Now, the proposal has been submitted to ready a micro DPR in this regard.