NMC’s river cleanliness drive yields good results but with a mess

River Cleanliness Drive
The Mayor Pravin Datke on Saturday inspected the cleanliness of all the rivers and nallahs of the city as a follow up of a month-long drive. The efforts poured in by the NMC Administration this year have yielded good results and they are visible, too. But a mess is also being witnessed, at the same time. The silt, filth taken out from the rivers and dumped near the banks at many places could water down the cleanliness drive. Possibility of the silt and filth going back the “cleaned rivers” and also posing hazards to citizens could not be ruled out with the onset of rainy season. A heavy downpour for 5-6 hour could turn the situation horrible and out of control. The Mayor was accompanied by Municipal Commissioner Shravan Hardikar, Chairman of Standing Committee Sudhir Raut and other top officials.

The cleanliness drive was undertaken after a gap of one year. The drive was aimed at spreading awareness about conservation of water bodies. All three rivers, Nag Nadi, Pili Nadi and Pora River flow through the city. Pora and Pili rivers merge with the Nag River on city’s outskirts. NMC sanitary workers actually executed cleaning works of rivers along with machinery made available from various sources. The motive of cleanliness drive is to save all three rivers, which have turned into nullahs. NMC removed silt and widened, deepened riverbeds, and created awareness among people to prevent further pollution. The rivers can be rejuvenated only if sewage water flowing in it is treated.

Nara Ghat:
The inspection began from Nara Ghat. The local people confronted the NMC officials and said that the people residing nearby the Pili River dump garbage, filth and dirty water into the river. The cleanliness drive is just a show for a few days. Because of the inspection visit, the employees of Health Department had “polished” the spot. The husband of Prabhag Corporator Sushma Chaudhary, Sanjay Chaudhary complained to the Mayor that the NIT has never taken up the cleanliness of the river.

The Kalamna area is part of the Pili Nadi. This area passes to from Wanjara Culvert to Kalamna Ghat. A Poclain and a JCB machine drew out garbage, silt from the area for 23 days. Total 4212 cubic meter waste was taken out. But the entire dirty stuff was dumped at one side of the corner in heaps. A heavy downpour would submerge the nearby low-lying area with rain water coupled with the filth.

Nag Nadi, Pili River Sangam:
This part of the river was widened with the help of NIT. Two Poclain machines were deployed for 24 and 11 days to clean the river. The cleaned mud was taken away by the residents for domestic use and they looked satisfied with the cleanliness work.

This spot is known as Pavangaon. The team of inspecting NMC officials looked satisfied with the cleanliness work

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Saint Xavier:
The Municipal Commissioner Hardikar said that a earthen embankment was created at this spot for cleanliness of the river and machines were used for the purpose. A total of 1000-truck garbage was pulled out during the drive but was dumped at nearby vacant grounds.

The task here was done under the leadership of Executive Engineer of NMC’s S R Department Gaidhane. The riverbed was deepened and widened by 8 meters.

This area is convergence point of Pora River and a big nallah. A private school management had built a bridge for its use. The school was directed to demolish the bridge on its own. To remove the garbage from this spot, a Poclain machine and a JCB machine were used for 13 days and 7 days respectively. The dirty stuff was disposed off near the river bank.

Ashok Square
Ashok Square:
The Ward Officer Ashok Patil led the cleanliness drive here. 1161 trips of truck were undertaken for excavating earth from the river at a stretch of 2 km. 410 hours of work was done.

After the inspection visit, the Mayor said that the cleanliness drive was participated by the citizens wholeheartedly. At the moment the drive has been halted but will resume soon. The NMC has so far spent Rs 3040 lakh. The task will be undertaken from January to June next year. Later, the river rejuvenation project will be implemented in October or November next year with the assistance of Central Government. The Centre has agreed to provide Rs 1298 crore for the rejuvenation of all rivers. During the drive, NMC’s Health Officer Dr Dasarwar and Rajesh Hathibed contributed their resources immensely, the Mayor stated.

– Rajeev Ranjan Kushwaha (rajeev.nagpurtoday@gmail.com)