‘Unscientifically changed flood lines causing floods in city’

ST Correspondent
Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Yadwadkar said, “These flood lines should be secure. But if we compare both conventional lines and digested versions, we see major variations. We asked irrigation department officials if they have made any hydrological or other surveys before changing the lines. They have not given us any details or proof of it.”

PUNE: A group of environmentalists and civic activists in the city on Tuesday said that Irrigation Division of Khadakwasla has unscientifically made changes in the blue and red flood lines of Mula and Mutha rivers under the guise of digitalisation of flood lines. 

On the recent flood situation of Mula-Mutha rivers, environmentalist Sarang Yadwadkar, lawyer Ashim Sarode and civic activist Vivek Velankar held a press conference in Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). 

Yadwadkar said, “These flood lines should be secure. But if we compare both conventional lines and digested versions, we see major variations. We asked irrigation department officials if they have made any hydrological or other surveys before changing the lines. They have not given us any details or proof of it.”

Velankar said, “With alteration in blue and red flood lines, the PMC has started giving building permission. These modifications were made while giving the digitised versions of these lines for drafting the city’s development plan. As per the digitised maps, the lines have been shrunk by 64 to 81 metres compared to the conventional maps. The intention behind the alterations was to save constructions getting affected by the regulations of these markings. All this is leading to more concretisation along the riverside, which is ultimately causing floods in the city.”

Meanwhile, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has also made allegations that the PMC and Irrigation Division is taking help of Gujarat-based private company and trying to commercialise Mula-Mutha river bed. NCP leader of PMC Chetan Tupe said, “A few  months ago, the company made a presentation to the PMC and suggested to deepen the river bed and reduce the flood lines so that we will use land for beautification. According to the presentation, there will be 700 hectar land available for development in river bed of Mula-Mutha.”

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