PCMC’s new sewage plant blatantly violates Indrayani flood line in Chikhali
On May 22, NGT formulated joint committee primarily to probe allegations made by the River Residency Cooperative Housing Society, Chikhali, concerning encroachment beyond flood lineUpdated: Aug 14, 2019 14:35 IST
PUNE Erosion of river bank due to encroachment beyond the flood line is now emerging as a major factor in determining the floods that Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad have suffered this monsoon.
In Chikhali, Pimpri Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), the violations are blatant and, “sanctioned by official authority”.
Construction of a sewage treatment plant is taking place within the “blue line zone (flood line)” of the Indrayani river.
This has been confirmed by a committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
On May 22, NGT formulated a three-member joint committee comprising members of the Pune irrigation division and the municipal corporation under the chairmanship of the regional officer of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB).
This committee was formed primarily to probe allegations made by the River Residency Cooperative Housing Society, Chikhali, concerning encroachment beyond the flood line by PCMC.
The subsequent probe has now revealed that PCMC is actively and knowingly encroaching onto the river.
Dilip Khedkar, regional officer, MPCB Pune, said, “As per directions given by NGT, we have conducted a detailed study and have come to the conclusion that construction of the STP plant of a capacity 12 mld violates the blue-line norms. Site of the plant is on the bank of the river and it encroached the prohibited zone.”
The committee, led by Khedkar, will submit the report to NGT, post which all further decisions will be taken by NGT.
Vikas Sane, chairman, River Residency Cooperative Housing Society, says, “It is very bad that a local body did not follow the blue-line restriction. Who will monitor local builders and their illegal constructions on the river bed ?”
“Our housing society is very close to the river bank and will be badly affected by this encroachment during floods,” Sane adds.
‘We are not at fault’
PCMC officials are refuting the “blue-line encroachment” allegations; not so much in terms of encroaching on the river, but in terms of the “development plan allowing it to do so”.
“According to city development plan 2007, the civic body reserved the site for this particular plant and we are following that only. We are ready to submit all documents related to it to the NGT” says Makarand Nikam, joint city engineer, PCMC.
First Published: Aug 13, 2019 17:33 IST