Aurangabad, Feb 4:
The Aurangabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has vowed to restore the lost glory of the city's pride Kham River through people's participation under the state government's Majhi Vasundhara Abhiyan. The AMC will be assisted by CII, Varroc and EcoSattva Environmental Solutions (knowledge partner) to complete the pilot project and achieve the target.
Briefing about the project, the municipal commissioner A K Pandey said, " The state government's project aims at conserving and restoring water resources under the guidance of the environment ministry headed by Aditya Thackeray. Accordingly, we undertook the task of restoring the Kham river from its origin (Harsul) to Holy Cross School (Cantonment). Of which, under the first phase, we are focussing on a stretch of 1.83 km extending from Barapulla Gate to Holy Cross School. With the help of four JCBs, four poclains and other equipment, we had started desilting and deepening the existing bed of the river, apart from the removal of waste (plastic and other types), from January 25, this year. The channelisation (or
straightening) of the river will help maintain the flow of river water during the monsoon and other days."
" The silt and dry waste will be spread on the river banks, while the wet garbage will be transported by AMC to the processing plant. Our next focus is on ecological restoration under which, one lakh saplings of various species (flowers, bamboo, herbs, grass etc.) will be planted on the banks of the river with people's participation. Our aim is to complete the maximum river restoration work before the onset of monsoon so that the green cover could increase during the rainy season. I appeal to the citizens to visit the place and plant saplings in large number," said Pandey.
249 sewage points posing a threat to Kham River
The civic chief underlined that 249 points that are the source to human and animal excreta flow had been identified during the survey. The release is posing a threat to the river. Hence, the AMC will connect these waste points to sewage pipelines under the Sewage Upgradation and Development Programme (SUDP) and eliminate the threat in six months, said the civic chief.
Pride of the city
The EcoSattva's Natasha Zarine and Smart City's Aditya Tiwari appealed to the citizens not to further contribute to converting the river into nullah by throwing any waste irresponsibly. Majority of the citizens are unaware of the existence of river in the city, they stressed. " There are 48 small and big bridges built upon nullahs and the river in the city. To prevent throwing of garbage waste by irresponsible citizens, the AMC will be erecting steel barricades on 30 bridges. Besides, trapping of plastics and other waste will also be done at 10 locations in the river. The project aims at
reducing pollution and reviving the beauty of the river," said Natasha Zarine.
" We the all will educate the citizens, apprise them about its existence and importance to the city so that they could take pride in having Kham river," said A K Pandey.
" We will be constructing a pathway of paving blocks on the edge of river bed so that the morning or evening walkers could enjoy visiting the place. It will be the centre point as on both the river's side and a forest environment will be created, apart from the cultivation of Miyawati forest on 2-3 acres of land across the bridge (towards Karanpura). The compound wall on the ridge of the river will also be painted through people's participation so that the site becomes beautiful and pleasant. The site of Kham River, near the bridge (locally called as Lokhandi Pool), is one of the important entry points of the city. Hence, the development of the water resource will attract the attention of the tourists, visitors, industrialists etc. and help build the historic city's positive image," said the municipal commissioner.
The municipal officials like city engineer S D Panzade, head of solid waste management Nandkishore Bhombe, sanitary inspector (Zone No.9) Asadullah Khan, District Mining officer Atul Daud, acting executive engineer (water supply) Kiran Dhande, EcoSattva's Gauri Mirashi, public relations officer Tauseef Ahmed and many others were present on occasion.
- It is a 3-years long project to be implemented in phases.
- Phase I started in January and is expected to complete before June.
- Phase II will focus on developing the River Bank through strategic planning. It will prepare a detailed project report (DPR), make a provision of the fund in the budget, remove encroachment from the banks of the river, etc.
- Varroc will research the utility of river water.
- Project will involve people's participation in a large number.
- Restoration of newly identified freshwater resources (jharas).
- Desilting and deepening the bed of the river from Barapulla Gate towards Panchakki started.