Pune: Indrayani river rejuvenation project gets in-principal approval
The blueprint of the project outlines the establishment of 18 sewage treatment plants (STPs) along the banks of the river
The state government has granted ‘in-principle’ approval to the rejuvenation and conservation of the Indrayani River, officials said. The proposal has now been forwarded to the National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) of the central government for final approval. The blueprint of the project outlines the establishment of 18 sewage treatment plants (STPs) along the banks of the river.
Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) had earlier drafted an ambitious project of ₹500 crore for the rejuvenation of Indrayani River. With central government support, the funding will be divided, with 60% originating from the central government and the remaining 40% contributed by the state government, officials said.
Ramdas Jagtap, public relations officer (PRO) at PMRDA and deputy collector, said, “The Indrayani River Rejuvenation Project was recently presented to the committee appointed by the environment department. It has received ‘in-principle’ approval from the state government. This endorsement clears the path for its submission to the central government’s NRCD for final authorisation. With a budget of approximately ₹500 crore, the primary objective is to combat water pollution.”
The Indrayani River is 103.5 kilometres’ long (stretching from Kurwande village to a segment of the Bhima River at Tulapur) and the project encompasses 18 kilometres under the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation’s (PCMC’s) jurisdiction. Notably, the PCMC has been tasked with overseeing the project on both banks of the river. The balance of 87.5 kilometres has been entrusted to the PMRDA.
The proposal has now been forwarded for final approval to the National River Conservation Directorate (NRCD) of the central government.
Earlier, the PMRDA had decided to undertake the rejuvenation of the Indrayani River under the ‘Namami Gange’ programme initiated by the central government. A detailed project report (DPR) was drafted by the PMRDA, College of Engineering Pune (COEP), and Water and Power Consultancy Services (India) Limited (WAPCOS), a central government enterprise. The project report was unveiled during a meeting convened in August 2023, chaired by the state government’s principal secretary, environment department. Significantly, the report garnered principled approval from the state government, marking a significant stride towards rejuvenating the river.
Proposal of 18 Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) entail
The 18 STPs will not only treat the river’s waters but also manage the inflow from adjacent canals. The river holds religious significance due to the presence of revered pilgrimage sites such as Dehu and Alandi along its banks. As such, concerted efforts will be made to rejuvenate the river and make it pollution-free. The Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) will actively curtail the release of untreated industrial effluents into the river; a responsibility that falls under the purview of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB).
Beyond its environmental remediation, the initiative also aspires to position the river as a burgeoning tourist destination. This is especially pertinent given the unregulated discharge of untreated sewage directly into the river. A concerted effort will be directed towards curbing such practices, said officials.
Additionally, the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) is actively engaged in curtailing the release of untreated industrial effluents into the river, a responsibility that falls under the purview of the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB). Such measures are anticipated to be instrumental in forestalling river pollution. The river’s course intersects the administrative boundaries of three municipal councils, two Nagar Panchayats, the Dehu Cantonment Board, and several Gram Panchayats.
Subsequent phases of the project will encompass flood control measures in phase 2, followed by the enhancement of riverbanks and the construction of devotional ghats in phase 3. These endeavors collectively aim to transform the region into a coveted tourist hotspot.