The Vishwamitri Riverfront Project, which has gained momentum in the corridors of the civic corporation, is set to get a push at the Centre. Vadodara MP Ranjan Bhatt has petitioned Union Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti and the Centre in the current Parliament session to extend funds to the project on the lines of the Ganga Shuddhikaran and the Yamuna project. On Wednesday, VMC officials also met state minister Saurabh Patel and state water resources adviser B N Navlavala for a “final” presentation on the Riverfront project.
According to officials, it has been decided that the work on the project would commence soon from the Kalyannagar embankment of the rivulet,where the VMC recently demolished close to 2000 slums.
While Bhatt has been pushing for a Centre fund to the Vishwamitri project in Delhi, VMC officials, including Mayor, Standing Committee chairman, Municipal Commissioner and other officials, had a high-level meeting in Gandhinagar on Wednesday to “finalise” the presentation of the projection of the Riverfront. Estimated at Rs 1,390 crore, it has been decided to complete the Riverfront project within 9 years. “The Riverfront will extend for 16.5 km and the steps include streamlining the river, treating the water from pollution, creating the barrages to retain and replenish water that will be able to take in treated sewage,” the official said.
On Tuesday, Bhatt raised the issue of the Vishwamitri redevelopment in the Zero hour as part of her first question in the Parliament. Bhatt said, “I told speaker Sumitra Mahajan that the Vishwamitri river causes floods every two years. I requested that since we have a budget for Ganga Shuddhikaran, Yamuna Shuddhikaran, the government must also take Vishwamitri project to end Vadodara’s flooding problem and increase tourism.” Bhatt said her meeting with Bharti, in presence of Navlavala, was “positive”.