Pune Metro Work Poses Flooding Risk: Mahametro Fails to Meet Deadline for Riverbed Clearance

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Pune, 30th June 2023: Pune’s Mutha riverbed faces the potential threat of severe flooding as murum soil and earth fill, along with a significant amount of metro work materials, remain in place. The Irrigation Department had given Mahametro a deadline to clear the riverbed before the monsoon season, but the deadline was not met. Concerned about the potential danger, the department plans to inspect the riverbed and issue a notice to Mahametro.

Vijay Patil, Executive Engineer of Khadakwasala Irrigation Department, had previously sent a letter on May 29, urging Mahametro to remove the materials from the riverbed. Construction materials and debris, including soil and silt, were deposited in the riverbed at locations such as Deccan, Sangam bridge, and Bundgarden for the Pune Metro project. The letter highlighted the risk of obstructing the river’s natural flow and creating future flood-like conditions, for which Mahametro would be held fully responsible.

The deadline of June 15 to clear the riverbed was not met by Mahametro, citing delays in the arrival of rainfall. With the onset of the rainy season, increased rainfall could result in water release from the Khadakwasla dam chain project. Sources within the Irrigation Department expressed concerns about potential flooding in Pune if the metro materials remain in the riverbed.

The encroachment and construction activities in the Mutha riverbed have significantly narrowed its capacity, exacerbating the risk of flooding. Recent heavy rains in short durations have led to floods in previous monsoon seasons. The construction of large pillars for the metro within the riverbed has further reduced its width, raising the flooding risk, according to Irrigation Department sources.

While only 20 to 30 percent of the riverbed has been cleared by Mahametro, the remaining materials and machinery are yet to be removed. The Irrigation Department plans to conduct a further inspection of the riverbed and send another letter to Mahametro urging prompt action.

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Hemant Sonawane, Executive Director of Mahametro, acknowledged the deadline and assured that the materials and machinery would be removed as soon as possible to mitigate the potential flooding risk in the area.


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