Lucknow’s Kukrail riverbed to be developed on lines of Sabarmati Riverfront - Hindustan Times
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Lucknow’s Kukrail riverbed to be developed on lines of Sabarmati Riverfront

Jun 13, 2024 07:06 AM IST

Once reduced to a drain (nullah) due to illegal constructions under the previous regimes, Kukrail river is now on the course of revival - the area is set to become a major eco-tourism hub

LUCKNOW Efforts to rejuvenate Kukrail river include reclamation of its riverbed and development of a riverfront on the lines of Sabarmati Riverfront in Ahmedabad, said officials on Wednesday.

Encroachments are being removed from the riverbed. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)
Encroachments are being removed from the riverbed. (Deepak Gupta/HT Photo)

“The encroached Kukrail riverbed, where the demolition drive is underway, is spread over 1 lakh sq m (24.71 acres),” said LDA additional secretary Gyanendra Verma. The area is spread over two parts of Akbar Nagar with I and II divided by Faizabad road.

ECO-TOURISM HUB

Once reduced to a drain (nullah) due to illegal constructions under the previous regimes, Kukrail river is now on the course of revival. The area is set to become a major eco-tourism hub, with plans in motion to establish the country’s first night safari at Kukrail and relocate the zoo there, enhancing the region’s ecological and tourist appeal, said a UP government spokesperson.

PARKS ON RIVERBANK

Officials from various departments, including LMC, LDA, and irrigation department, are actively engaged in formulating an action plan to develop a riverfront in the area. The vision includes creating picturesque parks on both banks of Kukrail river, offering adventure activities alongside for visitors.

BID TO RESTORE CATCHMENT AREA

In order to revive Kukrail river’s pristine glory, it is important to restore its catchment area to its original or natural form to facilitate the riverine process. Rainwater harvesting is another solution, said experts.

“Many of the smaller rivers of Ganga plain like Gomti, Sai, Kukrail, Behta, Reth are groundwater fed. For the survival of these, it is important to increase the natural recharge to the aquifers to increase the groundwater level and thus improve the flow,” said Prof Dhruv Sen Singh of geology department, LU.

“Floodplains should have natural vegetation and should also be free from any permanent settlements or concrete. This is to safeguard against any extreme event like heavy rain or extreme discharge due to showers,” said Venkatesh Dutta, professor at Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University.

“In such situations, these settlements would always be in danger of inundation. Historically, there have been many floods in Kukrail because the area brings in a lot of water during rain. The flow is sudden, the discharge increases quite rapidly. Hence these settlements are always at risk of flooding and the river also does not get any breathing space. It would be best to leave the terrace and floodplain of this river, for nature to act upon,” he said.

Dutta said the reclaimed area should be used to develop some parks or open spaces lined with avenue trees and natural vegetation, such as Sal and Palash, which are characteristic to this region. They will also maintain the microclimate and alleviate heating in the area.

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