The road planned from Vithalwadi to National Highway 4 has blocked 50% of the river bed at some areas and reduced the flood carrying capacity of the river by 25.89% – according to official data from the irrigation department. The construction of the road began in late 2012. Trucks filled with debris and sand were emptied along the river bed and the embankment wall was constructed along the river line.
Speaking with iamin, Sarang Yadwadkar, a city based activist involved in the agitation said, “The width of the river has reduced by almost 50% due to the sand that was dumped along the river. We filed a case in the National Green Tribunal (NGT), Delhi bench in January 2013. The court sent an order to the PMC to clear the sand at the earliest.”
Yadwadkar filed a contempt case with the NGT in January 2014 as no action was taken even after a year. “The court sent a final order in January 2015 criticising PMC’s delay in carrying out the work. They gave a three month time period which was opposed by the PMC and challenged in the Supreme Court,” added Yadwadkar, describing the background of the case.
While PMC lost the case in the Supreme Court, they were asked to clear the sand and reduce the size of the road to ensure minimal damage to the water body. “The deadline given to the PMC is August 12 but they are yet to follow the orders. If a flood like situation arises, the citizens will be the ones to suffer due to this careless attitude of the civic body,” Yadwadkar added.
Members of National Society for Clean Cities have also sent letters to the commissioner, Kunal Kumar urging him to act immediately in this case.
Source : DNA