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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Pond cleaning project in G Noida stuck for want of funds

cities Updated: Sep 06, 2019 21:13 IST
Kapil Datta
Kapil Datta

GREATER NOIDA: The district administration’s efforts to clean 10 ponds in Greater Noida has been stuck owing to lack of funds and non-cooperation from villagers. As per the schedule, the cleaning of the 10 ponds was to start from September 1. Now, the administration is planning to get it done through corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds of multinational companies.

Of the 1,000 ponds identified by the district administration for rejuvenation, 10 ponds were to be cleaned on an experimental basis. It the exercise proved to be a success, it was to carried out at the remaining ponds in phases.

“ We had identified 10 ponds for cleaning. A private company had claimed that it can clean the ponds and make the water as clean as it is in swimming pools. He demanded only material cost of chemicals, which was around ₹20,000 to ₹30,000 per pond. Earthmovers and dumpers were to be provided by the district administration and labour by the villagers,” Sanjay Mishra, city magistrate, Greater Noida, said Friday.

“One pond each was selected from the villages of Makoda, Junpat, Bodaki and Datawali. Two ponds each were selected from villages Ghodi Bachheda, Chitehra and Dabra. The company conducted a survey and we had arranged the earthmovers and dumpers. Then, the company pointed out certain difficulties and demanded more money to create infrastructure, so we had to tell them to put the project on hold, “Mishra said.

He said cleaning of ponds will be a futile exercise if they are not properly maintained afterwards. “Without the active participation of villagers, and their involvement in their maintenance, cleaning of ponds would be a wasteful exercise. Dirty water from the village drains is being discharged into the ponds currently. The company has suggested the collection of water from all these drains at a single point for chemical treatment before it is discharged into the pond.”Mishra said.

Mahesh Uppal, representative of the private company engaged for the purpose, said, “Due to lack of funds, we could not start the cleaning exercise. We have demanded only the cost of material. As panchayats ceased to exist in Noida and Greater Noida authority notified areas, there are no gram panchayat funds either. Now, we have suggested to get funds for this project under CSR. Also, villagers are not taking much interest in the project.”

Former district panchayat chairman Virendra Dhada said,“Earlier, the village pradhan (chief) and block level officer used to ensure cleaning of ponds in each village. Now, it is the responsibility of the authorities.”

Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority senior manager Rajindra Bhati said,“We construct roads, lay sewer lines and do other development works in villages using the village development fund . That does not include pond cleaning.”