Lucknow: ‘Will continue our ‘Satyagrah’ till earthen dam near Kudiya Ghat is removed’
Spearheading the efforts to get the dam removed is ‘Hamari Gomti Hamara Gaurav’ - a citizen-led campaign that seeks to sensitise and mobilise Lucknowites, and persuade the government to develop a roadmap for Gomti’s rejuvenation and accord it the ‘state river’ status.lucknow Updated: Sep 11, 2017 15:31 IST
Voices to get the earthen dam near Kudiya Ghat removed are growing louder. Experts say the dam, built during the riverfront beautification project, is obstructing the flow of Gomti, leading to a build-up of pollutants and causing an adverse impact on the quality of water at Gau Ghat intake.
- The students, staff and management of Pioneer Montessori Inter College (PMIC) Lucknow, Eldeco branch, volunteers from NGO Swayam Siddha, and members of Pirthvi Innovations and other organisations assembled at Kudiya Ghat on Sunday to remove the green water hyacinth covering up river Gomti.
- The group, including 15 students of PMIC, principal Sharmila Singh, vice principal Debjani Pakrasi, Swayam Siddha member Sakshi Tripathi and Anuradha Gupta of Prithvi Innovations, worked vigorously. “Our mission (Hamari Gomti Hamara Gaurav) believes that every bit counts. Gradually, the water will regain its purity. We will not stop till we achieve our aim,” said a volunteer.
Spearheading the efforts to get the dam removed is ‘Hamari Gomti Hamara Gaurav’ - a citizen-led campaign that seeks to sensitise and mobilise Lucknowites, and persuade the government to develop a roadmap for Gomti’s rejuvenation and accord it the ‘state river’ status.
The campaign was kicked off last month. Activists and aware citizens take up river cleaning every Sunday. “We plan to continue this as our ‘Satyagrah’ till the time the dam is removed,” said Porf Venkatesh Dutta of Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University (BBAU).
This Sunday, a group of citizens gathered at Kudiya Ghat, demanding the removal of the earthen dam. Dutta explained that during the riverfront beautification project, thousands of geo-synthetic sandbags were dumped into Gomti’s main channel to check its flow.
“Now that the bridge at Kudia Ghat and the diaphragm walls on both sides of Gomti have been completed, the dam serves no purpose except choking up the river, creating a sort of artificial pond. The irrigation department had promised that the dam would be removed once the diaphragm walls were completed,” said Dutta.
“Due to pollutant logging, the river oxygen level has dipped to almost nil levels, tremendously revving up the need for biological oxygen. In addition, sediments from the dam get transported downstream, which is causing a great sustained environmental impact,” he added.
Dutta said that in the coming days the campaign would reach out to more citizens, especially students and youths. “For this, a series of talks by river scientists and environmentalists, and other awareness generating activities will be organised,” he said.
Farrukh Rahman Khan, regional manager, WaterAid India, said, “There are direct and indirect impacts on the biological, chemical and physical properties of a river and its ecosystem. For example, the transformation of a free-flowing river to stagnant water will affect the habitat. Damming also brings about changes in the river’s chemical composition, oxygen levels and other physical properties. All this together can make Gomti unsuited to aquatic life.”
“If forests and trees function as lungs for the city, water bodies serve as arteries. Together, they keep the ecosystem healthy,” Khan added.