10 NGOs oppose riverfront’s development

Sakal Times
Tuesday, 6 March 2018

They claim that the project will obstruct the river’s water flow and threaten ecological biodiversity in surrounding areas

Pune: Stating that the Mula-Mutha Riverfront Development project will obstruct the natural flow of the river and is hence against the environment, 10 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have got together and claimed that the project is not viable.

The municipal administration on the other hand has slammed the suggestions shared by NGOs, stating that are not practical. Interestingly, prior to this, when the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had asked citizens to submit their suggestions and objections, no one had opposed the project.  

Vandana Chavan, NCP MP in Rajya Sabha, said, “The Sabarmati Riverfront Development project is a failed project. It is more of a wide nala than a river. Water gets stagnated in the river, while on the other hand, our river water is flowing smoothly. We don’t want this riverfront developed.”

Sarang Yadwadkar, an architect and an activist, said, “Due to the Riverfront Development project, the biodiversity of the river bed and surrounding areas will face danger. Due to this project, the river bed will become narrow and pose a danger to the existing green zone. How can they change flood lines that were demarcated by the State Irrigation Department?”

National Society for Clean Cities, Sajag Nagrik Manch, Parisar, Surajya Sangharsh Samiti, Centre for Environment Education (CEE), Jal Biradari, Jivit Nadi, Bavdhan Area Samiti, Save Pune Hills Initiative and Parivartan are the other NGOs which have come together under the umbrella of ‘Green Pune, Save Pune Movement’. 

Responding to the objections raised by the NGOs, Municipal Commissioner Kunal Kumar said, “We had sought suggestions and objections from citizens about this project. We heard their views before moving on with the project. Some NGOs wanted to ensure that the natural flow of the river water is maintained and hence they were against streamlining it. They have objected to the construction projects along the river bank. Some of their suggestions are practical and can be considered. Furthermore, there is no massive real estate development under this project. There is no harm to the environment that will be done through this project.”

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