Pune riverfront development project awaits environment ministry’s nod
Following questions raised by central government, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has resubmitted Mula-Mutha Riverfront Development report to the Union government’s environment ministry for clearance. The ministry had asked some clarifications which were submitted by the Pune civic body recently, according to officials.
Additional City Engineer Srinivas Bonala while confirming that proposal has once again been submitted to Union Government as per its instructions, said the civic body is now expecting nod from the government for the project. The project, according to officials, will be spread on an approximate length of 44 kms on Mula, Mutha and Mula-Mutha (where the two water bodies merge) with average and widths varying from 80 mts to 250 mts. The project will pass through Pune and Pimpri-Chinchwad and will require Rs 2619 crores.
The General body of the PMC had originally approved the riverfront development project during the then Municipal commissioner Kunal Kumar. After the General Body approved the project, Pune civic body submitted it to the central government for getting nod. The PMC also submitted the same proposal to state government for handing over the land along the river to the PMC as the river is owned by Irrigation department.
Environment officer at PMC Mangesh Dighe who is among the officials following this project said, “The environment ministry had asked some clarification and made additional observations about river’s biodiversity and water quality. The PMC collected all these data in last few months and has submitted it to the central government,” said Dighe.
The next step now would be that the expert committee comprising of environmentalists and senior government officials will go through this report before giving final nod. Once the project gets nod from the government, the work on ground will starts, said Municipal officials.
The Ahmedabad based HCP Design, Planning and Management Pvt. Ltd. Prepared the Detailed Project Report (DPR) for Riverfront Development work of Mula, Mutha & Mula - Mutha Rivers in Pune. Same company is also consultant for this project which will help the PMC to get nod from central government and other agencies.
Post project execution, no more riverside roads
The Riverfront Development project planned by the Pune municipal corporation (PMC) may eat into riverside roads, if the information provided by some municipal officials is to be believed.
PMC officials, on the condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media, said that some of the environment activists are raising doubts about the project though it will help push their agenda.
Many environment activists are opposing the roads alongside the riverbed. These roads would get closed once the project execution begins.
Also, there would be no encroachments in the riverbed and commercial activities would get stopped. To keep the water clean, sewage water would not get merged with river water. Even the growth of water hyacinth issue would be stopped.