There has been no progress in Noida authority’s riverfront development plan since it was approved in May 2013 and a budget of Rs100 crore was allotted. The project was proposed with a view to protect 5,000 acres of floodplains of the Hindon and the Yamuna in Noida and Greater Noida.
Rampant unauthorised construction and dumping of sewage on the floodplains pose a grave threat to Hindon and Yamuna, which are lifelines for the region. The authority had planned to acquire floodplains from farmers and landowners to develop a thick forest area, golf courses, polo ground and parks, to ensure that the floodplains are not polluted.
The Hindon merges with the Yamuna in Sector 150 of Noida, after flowing through Noida and Greater Noida.
“In February 2016, we had selected a Delhi-based private agency to survey the floodplains, land use, sewage dumping and water quality. It had to make a detailed project report to take the project forward but the agency could not start work on the site as it did not receive necessary approvals in time,” SC Gaur, former chief architect and town planner of the Noida authority, said.
Gaur was overseeing the project then. At present, he is serving with the Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) and Agra development authority.
In January 2016, the Noida authority had decided to replicate the model of Gujarat’s Sabarmati riverfront development to rejuvenate the 27km stretch of the Hindon in its jurisdiction.
A seven-member team of the Noida authority, led by the deputy chief executive officer (DCEO), Saumya Srivastav, visited Gujrat and studied the Sabarmati riverfront development. Following the visit, the authority decided to rope in Bimal Patel, who was responsible for developing the Sabarmati riverfront.
“I was involved in the project till the process of selecting a consultant agency was started. Later, the chief architect and town planner from the planning department took over the project. It takes time to get approvals for big projects,” Srivastav said.
The authority had also planned to build two motorable roads along the river to ease traffic congestion in Noida and Greater Noida.
The authority aimed to tap all drains in Noida and Greater Noida and treat the waste water before it is dumped into the Hindon.
“The plans of the state government, the Noida and Greater Noida authorities of cleaning and protecting the Hindon and the Yamuna remains on paper only. I do not know when they will wake up to this serious issue. Dumping of sewage into the two rivers is polluting the groundwater, on which Noida and Greater Noida depend to meet their drinking water demand,” Vikrant Tongad, an environmentalist, said.