11 river encroachment spots identified

Prajakta Joshi
Tuesday, 17 March 2020

“The 11 spots that we have identified are across the city. Every time, the NGT asks Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to get rid of the encroachments, they remove them very superficially, however, the debris, that have been dumped there to raise the level of the land, have not been taken care of,” Yadwadkar said.

PUNE: City-based activist and expert on urban flooding Sarang Yadwadkar has identified 11 spots across the city where the river bank has encroached. 

Yadwadkar said that despite orders from the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the encroachments have not been removed completely.

“The 11 spots that we have identified are across the city. Every time, the NGT asks Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to get rid of the encroachments, they remove them very superficially, however, the debris, that have been dumped there to raise the level of the land, have not been taken care of,” Yadwadkar said.

He also added that the government lacks the willpower to remove the encroachments fully.

“The administration has also faced the challenge of disposal of debris. Even if they remove all debris that have been dumped in the river, where will they dispose it of? There is no plan,” the activist added.

EFFECT ON THE RIVER
“The Red line of Mula-Mutha river has been drawn at the level when the river flows with 1 lakh cusecs of water and the Blue line is where the 60,000 cusecs water is released in the river,” said Sarang Yadwadkar.

“Last year (2019), Mula-Mutha crossed its Red line just when 45,474 cusecs of water was released,” Yadwadkar added.

The Red line of the river is demarcated by estimating the maximum flood extent of the river on an average 100 years, while the Blue line indicates the possible flood discharge in 25 years.

“The capacity of Mula-Mutha has decreased by over 50 per cent. There are only two causes that can lead to this situation. It happens either when the river has hugely encroached or when the flood lines are drawn inaccurately. Both of these are true for Mula-Mutha,” Yadwadkar added. At several of the encroached spots including those that have been identified by the activist, the natural flow of the river has been changed or diverted due to encroachments.

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