In the wake of Union Government’s Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan, sporting brooms have certainly emerged as a new trend to seek maximum attention in city, just like the way NMC officials merrily posed for pictures during Nag river cleaning campaign some months back. Like Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan, Nagpur Municipal Corporation’s mega drive to clean Nag River too met tragic end as the city is once again witnessing the garbage filled Nag Nala. The drive was undertaken from May 1 to May 15, 2013. The then Mayor Anil Sole had decided to divide the river into six sections for carrying out cleanliness operations.
Each section of the river was to be looked after by an Executive Engineer, an Assistant Commissioner, a Sub-Divisional Engineer and a Health Officer. Each group in each of the six sections of the river was to keep a tab on the work being carried out in their respective stretch of the river and inform the core committee about the progress.
However, during a review meeting it was decided that the team will also ensure no one put garbage into the river. The team members also had to submit a review report of their area to the centrally formed core committee. Municipal Commissioner Shyam Wardhane, Executive Engineer (Pench Project) Prakash Urade and other senior officials were present during the meeting.
Nagpur Today revisited entire stretches to conduct a reality check and what came out was shocking filth, perhaps more than ever, adding to the toxicity of river and the entire drive turned out to be nothing but the waste of money.
The reality of huge amount spent on cleaning
The Nagpur Municipal Corporation had spent Rs 33,22,315/- (Rupees Thirty Three lakh twenty two thousand three hundred and fifteen) only for de-silting and cleaning of Nag Nadi alone. The expense made by Nagpur Municipal Corporation on cleaning Shakti Nala (at Gaddigodam) was Rs 50,000/- (Fifty thousand). The expenses on Chamar Nala was a significant amount of Rs 9,60,000/- (Nine Lakhs Sixty Thousand) and again a similar amount of Rs 9,60,000/- (Nine Lakhs Sixty Thousand) was spent on the same project making it a total of Rs 19,20,000/- (Nineteen Lakhs, Twenty Thousand). Apart from this expense on miscellaneous cleaning work on Nag Nala was made to the tune of Rs 4,48,875/-.
The Nagpur Municipal Corporation had decided to delink all the sewage water from being connected to the Nag Nala. They had intended to lay a separate pipe-line and link all the sewage pipe-line to be connected to that main pipeline. The Executive Engineers were supposed to identify spots where sewage enters the Nag River and possible solutions as discussed in the meeting. They were also supposed to identify spots from where JCBs could enter the river for cleaning process and the site where the desilted mud, slime would be dumped.
Importance of delinking sewage outlets
The spot from where the Canal starts at Futala Lake itself is dirty. Thereafter, the spot right opposite to the Dande Hospital at Ravinagar shows construction material dumped into the canal, garbage silt, domestic garbage in abundance. The scenario is the same at the very intersection at Times of India Square. As the canal progresses, the scene is same at Giripeth and Gawlipura area. The WHC Road behind Bhole Petrol Pump also shows abundance of garbage and muck. As the canal reaches Maharajbagh and the spot after RTMNU office and where Star Buses arrive and depart (on the opposite side) has all sorts of garbage. When one goes to the spot behind Panchasheel Square, the condition is no different. This was the place where the Major Print Media had organized a wall-mural / drawing competition, where thousands of children and youth had spent hours painting concepts and ideas on the theme of Our City, Our River and Save Nag River etc. When one reaches the bridge after Bank of Maharashtra Square towards Yeshwant Stadium behind the Flower Market or Netaji Market the scenario is no different. Right from decomposed flowers to vegetables, cloths, domestic garbage etc. At most of the places, it is house-hold garbage that is being dumped into the Nag River. At most places shitty water from the toilets are connected to the Nag Nala. Nobody is ever punished for dumping waste and construction material into the Nag Nala or river.
The huge amount of money spent on cleaning the Nag River as of date stand wasted. This also means that the Executive Engineers, Assistant Commissioners, Sub-Divisional Engineers and Health Officers have neglected to execute what was planned in the meeting organized under the leadership of the then Mayor Anil Sole. Why this huge wastage of man-power, money when corrective steps were never planned and executed before cleaning the Nag River.