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Thursday, December 09, 2021

Pune: Pilot phase of river beautification project gets PMC nod

In 2018, the PMC had given an in-principle nod for the project which was then estimated to cost Rs 2,650 crore. However, delay over the years has increased the estimated project cost.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: October 27, 2021 8:47:45 am
The plan envisages keeping the river clean and pollution-free, reducing the risk of flooding and improving the city’s access to the riverfront. (File)

Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has given approval to the implementation of the pilot phase of river beautification by allowing spending of Rs 700 crore on the project.

On Monday, the civic general body unanimously gave a go-ahead for the implementation of the pilot phase. The project is to be implemented in 11 phases, including three pilot phases, at an overall cost estimated at Rs 4,727 crore. While PMC will incur a cost of Rs 700 crore for implementation of one pilot project, the other two projects would be carried out through Public Private Partnership (PPP).

In 2018, the PMC had given an in-principle nod for the project which was then estimated to cost Rs 2,650 crore. However, delay over the years has increased the estimated project cost.

In April this year, the state government gave the status of `Special Purpose Vehicle’ to the river beautification project, which is expected to add to the beauty of the city, help in environment-friendly development of the river bed and improve public health.

The PMC has already prepared a geotechnical investigation report, hydrology and hydraulics report, area assessment, environment-impact assessment and concept master plan for the project.

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The project is expected to beautify 44-km of river stretch passing through the civic limits and would include construction of pathways for walking and cycling, 16 new boating facilities, doubling the number of ghats to 40 and increasing the number of eateries.

Ahmedabad-based HPC Design, Planning and Management Private Limited and city-based Center for Development Studies and Activities have prepared the tentative draft plan for the project. The development and beautification project covers both sides of the 44-km of river stretch passing through the city, which includes 22.2 km of Mula, 10.4 km of Mutha and 11.8 km of Mula-Mula river.

The plan envisages keeping the river clean and pollution-free, reducing the risk of flooding and improving the city’s access to the riverfront.

The project plan includes constructing a barrage near the Garware bridge on the Mutha river.

Meanwhile, environmentalists have opposed the PMC move saying it would damage the ecology and increase flood risks for the city. The project would destroy the river ecosystem and biodiversity, they said.

The project does not address the core issues of water quality and the need for scientific ecological restoration of the degraded river ecosystem, they said. Instead, it proposes to narrow the river channels with a view to commercialise adjoining land, which would put lives at risk, they added.

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