Staff Reporter :
Nitin Gadkari chairs meeting with officials of World Bank, NMCG and NMC in New Delhi on Tuesday after which green signal was given for implementation of the ambitious project
A final seal of approval was appended on Nag River Pollution Abatement project with cost pegged at Rs 2,117.54 crore. Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Tuesday chaired a meeting with officials of World Bank and Director General, National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), in presence of Municipal Commissioner Radhakrishnan B. The meeting held at New Delhi discussed the modalities of plan and after final discussion same was given a go ahead, Gadkari later informed.
The aim of project is to rejuvenate the Nag River that passes through middle of city and then merges with Kanhan on Nagpur’s outskirts and then drains into Wainganga river basin. Now plan is to revive the bio-diversity of the river and also to develop the river bank later and reposition Nag River as signature river of city. When the project was conceived, way back in June 2014 the cost was pegged at Rs 1,476.96 crore. However as the project was not properly drafted same was rejected and delays cost dearly as new additions were made pegging the pollution control price at nearly Rs. 2500 crores. But after intense negotiations and slashing at unwanted things, the final cost is of Nag River rejuvenation is pegged at Rs. 2117.54 crore.
The project is approved under the National River Conservation Plan and will be implemented by the National River Conservation Directorate, NRCD. Gadkari said the plan is to reduce the pollution level in terms of untreated sewage, flowing solid waste and other impurities flowing into the Nag river and its tributaries. Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA) is the lead financer and it has entered into agreement with Maharashtra Government for a soft loan of Rs. 1864 crores for Nag River Pollution Abatement Project and other river cleaning projects. As mentioned earlier, Centre will contribute 60 per cent of the project cost, that is, Rs 1,323.51 crore, State will contribute 25 per cent -- Rs 496.38 crore while for cash strapped NMC contribution is kept at 15 per cent that is Rs 297.82 crore. After river rejuvenation, Gadkari has plans for river front development so that entire stretch of 17 km. All together 35 settlements would need to be relocated to facilitate development of amusement parks and other tourist facilities on banks of Nag River. Now the main objective is to prevent and reduce the pollution of river and similarly improve hygienic environment of residents in the catchment area of Nag and its subsidiary Pili River. For the same, construction of sewerage treatment plants and public sanitary facilities would be taken-up. As per an old report, about 420 MLA of sewage is generated, it might have increased over the years.
NMC constructed one treatment plant of 100 MLD capacity at Bhandewadi but it operates only at 80 per cent of its capacity. About 275 MLD untreated waste is release into nullah and it then drains into Wainganga basin whose water quality has deteriorated.
Three STPs to be constructed under the project Under the pollution abatement project, three sewage treatment plants (STPs) will be constructed -- one each at Aradhana Colony (45 MLD capacity), VNIT (12 MLD), and Mor Bhavan (35 MLD), at Sangam adjacent to Yashwant Stadium. Besides, two STPs of 10 MLD capacity each will be upgraded at Mankapur and Martin Nagar and they would be on Pili River. Total 520 MLD sewage flows into Nag river of which plan is to treat 480 MLD through existing, proposed and to be upgraded STPs.
Nag River may flow again sans pollution Nitin Gadkari has been batting for abating the pollution of Nag River that originates from over flow of the Ambazari lake. Even High Court had stepped-in and rapped civic administration for its failure to control pollution of Nag River whose water in turn is polluting the storage of Gosikhurd Irrigation Project in neighbouring Bhandara District. So after years of negotiations and revision in project reports, Nag River might now just get a chance to flow again minus the pollution and regain its lost glory.
As city expanded during 50-years in all spheres the increasing urbanisation contributed to release of untreated sewage into the river that converted it into a stinking nullah. Later on apart from residential localities that sprang up along its bank, industrial estates too came up on its subsidiary the Pili River, namely Uppalwadi and Wanjara Co-operative Industrial Estate. The industrial waste for long time used to be released untreated in Nag River thus deteriorating its water quality. Several small standalone industrial units too were set-up over the period of time on banks of Nag River and though they had set-up treatment plants but their capacity was limited to just 70 to 80 per cent. Nag River stretches from Ambazari Lake to Pardi Village and its passes through various localities of city namely Daga Layout, Shankar Nagar, Dharampeth, Ramdaspeth, Dhantoli, Indira Nagar, TB Ward, Chandan Nagar, Siraspeth, Reshimbagh, Bagadganj, Bhandewadi and upto Pardi village. Its width ranges from 12 to 40 m and depth varies from 2 to 4.5 m. Total length of Nag River up to the confluence with Kanhan River at Agargaon is about 68 Km.
MPCB identified 107 polluting streams A study commissioned by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) in 2011 had identified 107 polluting streams that empty into the 2 rivers. These would be intercepted or flow diverted to the Bhandewadi sewage treatment plant for treatment. Similarly, 31 settlements along the river that have been identified as major contributors to the pollution. Besides solid waste being dumped from these settlements, waste water from toilets in the slums and other layouts, storm water drains and sewage are also discharged directly into the river without subsequent treatment. An estimated Rs. 5.8 crore will be spent on non-sewerage works, including community toilet blocks, river front development, electric crematoria and cattle washing centre. About 1,362 kms length of sewage lines will be laid in all as part of the comprehensive sewerage system. The North and South Zone as part of Central Zone in city does not have sewage lines and same would be priority to prevent their direct discharge in river.