New retention wall at Ambil Odha might create flood risk
Local residents have claimed that the wall has been built unscientifically and has created the risk of flooding nearby residential areas
PUNE While the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has built a new retention wall with five doors at the Ambil Odha sangam point at the backside of Peshwe lake in Katraj area, local residents have claimed that the wall has been built unscientifically and has created the risk of flooding nearby residential areas. The PMC recently built this wall to stop the water flow from the mountainous side of Katraj ghat however former Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) corporator Vasant More and other experts claimed that it is an unnecessary waste of public money.
Since the last three years, flash floods have been regularly taking place near Ambil Odha starting from Katraj, Sukhsagar nagar, Padmavati and Sahakarnagar areas. While as prevention, a budget was allocated by local corporator Manisha Kadam for building this retention wall with five opening gates exactly at the spot where the Ambil Odha and the water coming from the mountains collides. In earlier incidents, the floods also swept away huge trees and garbage which in turn blocked the flow of water. Building this wall however will create even more obstacles that will have an impact on the residential areas behind this spot, including Gujarwadi, Nimbalkarwadi and several parts of Katraj.
“The wall with the five doors which has been built by the PMC is completely unscientific; no one has studied the flow of water and earlier flooding incidents before building this wall. It is a waste of public money and moreover, it has created a huge risk for thousands of houses in the path of the Ambil Odha . Now water will get blocked at this spot and spread into the residential areas. The PMC has not taken any permission from the irrigation department to build this wall and now when the rainy season will start, we will see its effects, so our demand is to remove this wall immediately,” said former MNS corporator Vasant More.
On September 25, 2019, flash floods occurred in various parts of Pune city in which 18 people lost their lives and two are still missing. It was just before the state assembly elections and all the political parties tried to take advantage of it; the then guardian minister of Pune Chandrakant Patil visited all the flood-affected parts of Pune but had to face opposition from the flood victims. While the Pune Municipal Corporation and district collectorate helped the flood victims in all possible ways and gave them compensation, with the PMC allotting ₹300 crore for repairing and restoring the Ambil Odha .
“Building a retention wall at the Ambil Odha sangam point is unscientific and will block the natural flow of the odha. Trees and other garbage material will block the doors of this wall and then there will be a huge water congestion creating adverse effects on the residential zones on its backside,” said Dr Shrikant Godbole, geomorphology expert.
One of the senior officials from the PMC’s water department on condition of anonymity said, “We have built this wall as per demand and instructions have been given by the local corporator. Still an immediate audit of this wall is going to be carried out soon. And accordingly, changes will be made in the structure.”