Four months after the National Green Tribunal (NGT) censured it over encroachments near Mula and Mutha, the rivers that run through the city, the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has decided to appoint a private agency to clean up the river at an estimated cost of Rs 50 lakh.
“The PMC has invited applications from private agencies for the work of removing encroachments and cleaning up Mutha and Mula, as per directions of the NGT,” said a civic officer.
“The bench of Justice S P Wangdi and Siddhanta Das also directed PMC, PCMC and PMRDA to identity encroachments… other than those pointed out by the petitioners, and also take action to remove them,” said Sarang Yadwadkar, who, along with Narendra Chugh, Vivek Velankar and Dilip Mohite, had filed a plea before the NGT bench on this issue Earlier this month, the PMC, along with the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC) and Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA), had submitted an action plan to the NGT for removing debris from areas near Mula and Mutha.
In September last year, a committee constituted by the NGT had acknowledged the problem of encroachment on Mutha, Mula-Mutha, Mula and Pawana riverbeds. The Tribunal had recommended identification and immediate removal of encroachment, also directed the authorities to use satellite images to prevent their recurrence.
The committee had further said that encroachment has blocked the course of the river and flood zones. It pointed out that untreated domestic waste water was being released in rivers at various locations through drains and nullahs.
To carry out the debris removal work, the private agency will have to use JCB machines and heavy-capacity trucks. It will also have to update the civic administration daily on the progress of work. The debris removed from the riverbed have to be dumped at a location as per directions of the PMC.
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