NGT rejects environmentalists’ plea; clears way for Mula-Mutha Riverfront Development plan

by suryanagesh111
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Pune : Deccan Express  – Pune PMC News | The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has rejected a petition filed by the representatives of environmental organisations, claiming that the Mula-Mutha Riverfront Development plan being implemented by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has violated environmental norms. Hence, the obstacle in the plan has been removed and all efforts will be made to accelerate the project, said civic officials.


The civic body has started the work on the Mula-Mutha river bank improvement project. It will be carried out in 11 phases and will cover about 44 km on both banks of the river. The area will be beautified on the lines of Sabarmati river. In this, civil facilities including roads, plantations, cycle tracks, parks, fields will be provided on both sides without any obstruction to the flow of the river. The cost of this project is around Rs 5000 crore. In short, amenities will be built to attract citizens. The foundation stone work of this project was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi this year.


Meanwhile, fears have been expressed that this project will create obstacles in the flow of the river and also destroy the natural habitat. The NGOs had also alleged that the PMC had obtained a no-objection certificate from the Environment Department by giving wrong information despite the fact that constructions would be done to provide civil facilities in this project. Environmentalists Sarang Yadwadkar and Pushkar Kulkarni had filed a petition in the NGT in this regard. The municipal corporation, along with the State Government and the Environment Departments of the Central and State Governments, were made respondents.


The hearing was held before the bench of Judge Dinesh Kumar Singh and Dr Vijay Kulkarni. Senior counsellor Atmaram Nadkarni and Adv Rahul Garg argued the case on behalf of the state government and the PMC. The entire plan was submitted while getting the environmental certificate for the project. It was argued that permission was granted on that basis. After hearing both sides, the NGT quashed the petition filed by Yadwadkar and Kulkarni and imposed a requirement that if any changes are made in the plan, permission of the Environment Department should be obtained for these changes.


For the revival of the Mula-Mutha river near Pune, the civic body is implementing the river bank improvement project, along with the JAICA river improvement project. We are trying to complete the work of both these projects in the next few years. The order of the NGT court has cleared all the hurdles in the Mula-Mutha river bank.


-Prashant Waghmare (City Engineer), Yuvraj Deshmukh (Superintending Engineer, Mula-Mutha Riverfront Improvement Project)


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