Noida: Reviving Hindon an uphill task for the UP govt
llegal construction on the floodplains and dumping of untreated effluents have turned the 400km waterway into a large sewage carrier— one in which no organism can survivenoida Updated: Jul 23, 2017 23:01 IST
The state government is facing multiple challenges to rejuvenate the river Hindon, including rampant illegal construction and waste disposal.
Several unauthorised housing structures have come up on the floodplains of the Hindon in the recent years. Thousands of persons have been living in unauthorised houses built on Hindon floodplains, which fall in Noida and Greater Noida.
The Noida authority, Greater Noida authority, UP irrigation department and the Gautam Budh Nagar district administration keep passing the buck onto the other instead of cracking down on unauthorised construction on the Hindon floodplains.
Residents said that the land mafia is busy developing residential areas on the floodplains and selling the plots. Those living in these houses dump all waste, including sewage and solid waste, into the river.
“Officials do not want to act against those who are selling plots on the Hindon floodplains. They know the ones responsible but they do not act because it is not a priority for them. If unauthorised construction continues unchecked, it will not only pollute the Hindon but also affect the ecosystem of Noida and Greater Noida,” Atul Gupta, president of architects’ association for Noida zone, said.
He added that the association has written to authorities many a time but no action was taken.
Atal Kumar Rai, the additional chief executive officer of Noida authority, said, “We do not have control of the Hindon. The UP irrigation department has the responsibility of this river.”
However, the irrigation department officials said that it is the responsibility of the authority to stop illegal construction.
“We are not aware of any illegal construction on the Hindon floodplains or sale of plots. The Noida authority, if it wants, can stop the illegal plot sale. We don’t have revenue records of farmers or land owners who are selling their land or constructing illegal structures,” said KP Singh, executive engineer of the Uttar Pradesh irrigation department.
The commissioner for Meerut division, Dr Prabhat Kumar, said that it is not possible to rejuvenate the Hindon without removing illegal structures from the floodplains.
“To begin with, our focus is on educating farmers and land owners on the Hindon floodplains. We will rope in social welfare associations for educating the public about the benefits of river rejuvenation and how killing it (the river) will affect our lives. We are mulling over a proposal to relocate those who have built houses on the floodplains. But this will be done at a later stage,” said Kumar.
The Meerut division consists of five districts — Bulandshahr, Hapur, Ghaziabad, Baghpat and Gautam Budh Nagar. “We will run an awareness campaign to save the Hindon in all areas and involve farmers, industrialists, corporate houses and village heads in the rejuvenation work,” said Kumar.