Published On : Mon, Dec 4th, 2017

Ambazari lake embankment expires, causes concern

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Nagpur: Raising an alarm over the ongoing construction work of Nagpur metro rail on the banks of Ambazari lake, the Maharashtra Engineering Research Institute, an expert in embankments, dams and works under water resources department (WRD), has said that the life of 145-year-old Ambazari Lake embankment has expired. It has suggested the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to take up safety measures immediately. The civic body is sitting pretty leaving safety works to Mahametro which is yet to undertake any such works on the embankment.

Activist Shahid Sharif has obtained documents related to Mahametro works on the embankment under the Right To Information (RTI) Act. One of the documents is a letter of MERI sent to municipal commissioner Ashwin Mudgal on August 16.

The team of MERI and Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC) inspected the site on request of Mahametro and NMC, who sought technical opinion on Metro Rail works being executed on and at the toe of embankment.

In the letter, MERI said, “Mahametro constructed nine of total 17 piers adjoining the embankment. There are residential areas, roads and now Metro Rail’s corridor within 200m radius of the embankment. No technical hurdles are caused due to Metro Rail works. Embankment’s life has expired and NMC created hazard potential at this place. NMC has to take care that no danger to residential areas, roads and Metro Rail corridor in case breach/destruction to the embankment.”

MERI added that the NMC has to take up works for safety of the embankment. “All trees and shrubs grown on the embankment should be immediately cleared as it may cause breach. Works suggested by Dam Safety Organization (DSO), Nashik and VIDC should be taken up,” MERI said.

MERI also said it was NMC’s responsibility to ensure safety of embankment and take up all suggested works done in prescribed time period.

NMC executive engineer Sanjay Gaikwad told TOI that it was the responsibility of Mahametro to take up all works suggested by MERI, DSO and VIDC. “NMC issued an NOC to Mahametro for executing the works at the embankment on August 29. Condition has been placed on Mahametro to undertake all safety measures at the embankment,” he said.

Mahametro had kicked-off Metro Rail works from December 2016 digging the embankment even before obtaining NOC from the NMC and technical opinions from DSO, MERI and VIDC. Four months on, Mahametro is yet to carry out works suggested at the embankment.

Mahametro official said all works suggested by the NMC and experts will be undertaken at the embankment. “Proper plan has been prepared and will be executed soon,” the official said.