A MEDICINAL garden, a nakshatra vatika, rowing and canoeing facilities and a modern wrestling ring (akhada) are part of the Delhi government’s Riverfront Development Plan that will stretch over 5 km on the banks of the Yamuna upstream from Wazirabad.
Announcing the project, which is estimated to cost Rs 200 crore, Water and Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra said it entails no concrete structures and will be built using bamboo and wood. The project will be financed by the Delhi government and executed by its department of tourism.
“The nakshatra vatika will be themed on Hindu mythology which has 27 nakshatras (galaxies) and nine grahas (planets). There will be plants associated with each of them and there will also be a tulsi garden. This will be a religious and spiritual experience for visitors,” said Mishra.
While the land continues to be vested with the Centre-controlled Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the Delhi Jal Board’s (DJB) horticulture department has taken over it to carry out the development work, said the minister.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will unveil the blueprint of the project during the annual Yamuna aarti, which will be held on the occasion of Bhai Dooj on November 1, the minister said.
The Yamuna aarti, which was held at Geeta Ghat last year, will be held at Sonia Vihar as the work on development of Geeta Ghat has already started, said the minister. He added that about 10,000 people are expected to attend the Yamuna aarti this Diwali.
The Riverfront Development Plan will be executed in three phases, the first of which is expected to be completed in six months, said Mishra.
“We will develop rowing and canoeing facilities of international standards and we hope to hold the first rowing and canoeing event in the next six to seven months. This facility can be used to hold national and international tournaments.”
The Delhi government has also partnered with the Centre for the 22-km Yamuna Turnaround Plan. “The financial understanding over who will pool in how much is yet to be finalised. It’s a two-year plan that should be rolled out in the next two to three months,” said the minister.