Pune, 19th March 2022: Due to the riverfront development project, the flood level of the Mula-Mutha river is likely to increase by 16 feet in future. Also, four bridges will be demolished and the height of seven bridges will have to be increased for this project. This process will affect the natural flow of rivers as well as their biodiversity. As a result, rivers would turn into canals and flood incidents may rise in the city, said environmentalists in a press conference organized on Friday.
Representatives of various NGOs attended the press conference, including Sarang Yadwadkar, Ravindra Sinha, Tanmayi Shinde, Pushkar Kulkarni, Niranjan Upasani and others.
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has undertaken the Mula-Mutha riverfront development project and the representatives of environmental organizations claimed that there are many errors in the study done for this project. They alleged that there was no scientific study on climate change, traffic congestion, flood situation and so on.
According to a report released by TERRE Policy Centre on Pune’s rainfall, the rainfall will increase by 37.5 per cent in the future.
Speaking about the consequences, Sarang Yadwadkar said, “The city produces about 1328 millilitres (MLD) of sewage. Of this, 507 MLD of sewage water is treated. 396 MLD of water is expected to be processed the under JICA project. It is proposed to process 903 MLD of wastewater and the remaining 425 MLD of wastewater will not be treated at all. It shows that flood lines, riverine wetlands etc. are not considered. The river needs to be revived. But it requires purification of the river, not beautification. There is a need to reduce pollution of natural ways, stop construction at floodplains, and increase the capacity of the JICA project.”
The project was recently discussed in detail between NGOs and the Municipal Corporation. However, some of the issues raised by the NGOs were not answered by the officials. Therefore, the next action will be decided after the second round of discussions with the water resources department, he added.