A team of Vasundhara Swachhata Abhiyan has taken up the task of cleaning Ramnadi from Hotel Mahabaleshwar on Baner Road to Someshwarwadi over the next six days. The team will remove waste, debris and plastic thrown into the water body and on the banks of the river. The effort will culminate with a plantation drive along the river banks.This is the second major cleanliness task undertaken on the river since the start of monsoon. The first one, conducted in April, was initiated by the Pune Municipal Corporation under pressure from citizen groups who had urged the civic body to save the river which was reduced to a nullah becau se of rampant encroachment, slums and general disregard among some local inhabitants about keeping the river clean. The activists will work for a couple of hours every day for the next six days. Anil Gaikwad, the founder of Vasundhara Swachhata Abhiyan, said, “We have been cleaning the river relentlessly for the past four years. Plastic forms the biggest chunk of waste thrown into the river. We will urge PMC to put up notice boards along the banks to inform people about the harms of littering.“
The activists will also conduct awareness sessions for slumdwellers staying nearby to educate them about keeping the river clean and to make them understand the importance of using toilets.
“The Pune Municipal Coporation had done a half-hearted job earlier by removing a few encroachments along the river,“ said Indu Gupta, a petitioner in the case on the status of Ramnadi in NGT. “PMC helped us with JCB and men who removed a lot of debris from the river bed. Unfortunately , they dumped it all along the banks, which reduced the impact of the effort. They need to take it away,“ she added.
Jayant Bhosekar, officer incharge of Kothrud ward office, said the cleaning work in his jurisdiction is over. “We cleaned the riverbed to an extent that the roots of some trees have got exposed. We will ensure slumdwellers don’t dump their garbage into the river,“ he added.
Source : TOI