Pune river beautification: State water resources dept puts onus on PMC for any loss in event of flood

Environmentalists had alerted the department regarding possible floods in the region due to the Rs 4,727-crore river beautification project undertaken by the Pune Municipal Corporation

Within a few days of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) starting tender process for its ambitious river development project, the state water resources department has warned the civic body that it would be solely responsible for any flood situation arising due to the project.

Environmentalists and civic activists had raised an issue with the state water resources department over possible floods in the region due to the Rs 4,727-crore river beautification project undertaken by the PMC. The civic body recently approved a pilot project for beautifying three of the 11 stretches along the Mutha riverbed and started tender process for the same.

On Thursday, the water resources department communicated to the PMC that it has been informed that debris was being dumped alongside the Mutha riverbed and creating obstacles to the flow of water.

“We are once again conveying that the PMC should ensure that there should be no obstacle in flow of river water, water carrying capacity of river should not get reduced and there should not be any changes made to the river. If there is an obstacle to the flow of river water, then the water resource department would take action against the work,” it said.

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“Also, the local civic body would be solely responsible for the loss of life and property due to possible floods due to the development work in Prohibitive zone and Restrictive zone of the river,” it said, adding that the civic body and the concerned department will have to take responsibility for any legal proceedings arising due to the situation.

Environmentalists led by Sarang Yadwadkar have raised doubts over the river beautification project. “The city is already a flood-prone area, so what is the need for a river beautification project? Is the civic administration working under some pressure to implement the project?,” he asked, adding that no elected corporator took detailed information on the project before giving approval to it.

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