Agencies start clearing debris choking Yamuna
On Friday, when HT visited the spot again, it found at least two earth moving machines and two dumper trucks, loaded with debris collected from the spot, were parked below the bridge.Updated: Apr 20, 2019, 06:25 IST
Government agencies have started removing concrete and soil debris below the newly built Signature Bridge, that had almost blocked the Yamuna.
HT had on April 17 reported how the construction and demolition debris had almost choked the river below the bridge, leaving a gap of only few metres for the river to pass flow as a trickle. Experts had even pointed out this was in violation of the clearance given to the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC), as the conditions specifically mentioned that no debris could be dumped into the river and the flow can’t be obstructed at any point of time.
On Friday, when HT visited the spot again, it found at least two earth moving machines and two dumper trucks, loaded with debris collected from the spot, were parked below the bridge.
“There were at least 30 temporary pillars. All these have been demolished. The debris is being removed. We have set a target to completing it before the arrival of monsoon,” said Shishir Bansal, chief project manager of the Wazirabad Bridge Project, which was renamed Signature Bridge.
On Thursday, an environment activist, Bhim Singh Rawat, assistant coordinator of South Asia Network on Dams River and People (SANDRP), tweeted a video showing heavy machinery was being used to dump debris into the few metres wide water channel through which the river is presently passing.
Activists also alerted government authorities, including CM Arvind Kejriwal, and L-G Anil Baijal, on social media.
Officials, however, said on Friday it was a part of the clean-up and a separate channel would be opened up for the river to pass.
“A few of the iron pillars and structures used during the construction of the bridge need to be removed. To reach those structures, we have to block the existing water channel and open a new channel so that the river water can pass through,” said a senior DTTDC official, associated with the project.
While the river’s width below the bridge is around 250m, a channel measuring not more than 10 metres has been left for the river to flow. The remaining stretch has been blocked by the debris.
Experts said the obstruction under the bridge was seriously affecting the river’s flow, and if it was not removed before the 2019 monsoon, it could alter the river’s morphology