A Rs 45-crore move that was supposed to add to the glory of the BSP memorials is now compounding the woes of the city’s lifeline — the Gomti.
The 256-metre-long barrier or ‘weir’ constructed on the Gomti near the La Martiniere College ground has started giving sleepless nights to hydrological experts and conservationists.
Reason: Apart from hampering the free flow of the river, it is leading to silt deposition and accumulation of waste, causing pollution.
In fact, experts had opposed the very idea of construction of the weir at the onset of the project.
The irrigation department engineers had feared that the weir might lead to a high rate of siltation in the river, resulting in the rise in the river bed.
Experts also said the construction of weirs was an obsolete concept as they caused permanent blockages in rivers.
But, the officials overruled the warnings, as it was a part of the dream project of the then chief minister Mayawati.
And now, when the fears have started coming true, the authorities are clueless.
Dredging and de-silting would be a recurring cost and dismantling the construction would be tantamount to throwing Rs 45 crore down the drain, sources feel.
VK Joshi, an environment expert, says, “construction is always bad along rivers. A flowing river gets silt with it and this leads to an increase in the (level of the) riverbed automatically.”
Designed by the Indian Institute of Technology-Roorkee, the weir was constructed by the UP Project Corporation Limited.
The idea was that the weir would maintain a certain water level along the memorials, adding to their look and encouraging water sports in the area.
However, it failed to serve the purpose. Ali, a resident of Jiamau and a regular visitor to the area, said, “The river smells like a nullah here as the weir concentrates water in a certain area and restricts its free flow.”
Officials of the UP Project Corporation Limited are tight-lipped on the issue.
The project was conceptualised in 2009. The then chief minister Mayawati had laid the foundation stone on her 54th birthday on January 15, 2010.
This is the second weir built on the Gomti in Lucknow. The first one has been submerged due to construction of the barrage.