Residents of Shastri Layout still suffering from sewage of Pohra ‘nullah’ after 20 yrs
Plastic and solid waste blocking the water flow of Pohra river near Shastri Layout. (Pic by Anil Futane)
Staff Reporter :
For the last two decades, residents of Shastri Layout in Laxmi Nagar Zone have been fighting to stop release of sewage in Pohra river. The residents and passers-by have to suffer the ordeal of foul smell emanating from the nullah from last 20 years. Plastic and other solid waste floating in the canal is also a common scene which is an eyesore for residents of Shastri Layout. Nothing has improved in these years despite the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) got Rs 27 crore from the State Government for laying pipeline and repair retaining wall of the Pohra river. Directly releasing sewage water in Nag, Pili and Pohra rivers became an easy way to dispose off the waste water for the civic body. With increasing population of the city, the disposing sewage water has now become a big burden for the city fathers and also converted the city rivers into open drainage.
Ravinder Khurana, a resident of the locality, has been fighting the issue since the last two decades and had first lodged a complaint about sewage polluting the Pohra river in 1999. The river’s origin is somewhere in Jaitala and it passes through Swawlambi Nagar, Ravindra Nagar, Shastri Layout, Sahakar Nagar and Jaiprakash Nagar on way to Beltarodi side. Following residents’ demand to resolve the issue, former CM Devendra Fadnavis had made a provision of Rs 27 crore from the State Government to lay sewage pipeline in the river bed itself. The then State Government announced London Street project from Jaitala to Wardha Road and Fadnavis performed Bhoomipujan of the London Street project that cross over the Pohra ‘nullaha’. According to Fadnavis, the project will change the looks of the street and the adjoining areas, but the ground realities of the area is something different.
The life has become miserable for lakhs of citizens living in posh colonies near the nullaha and the administration is overlooking it from long time. “We have been fighting for the issue from last 20 years but the situation even got worsened now-a-days,” said Ravinder Khurana to The Hitavada. “We approached to Fadnavis regarding the issue as it is his own constituency and he gave us a positive gesture by allotting funds for the work,” Khurana added. Tender was floated in 2015 for laying pipeline and repair of the retaining wall and the work order issued next year. On October 23, 2016, Union Minister for Road Transport and Shipping Nitin Gadkari and the then Guardian Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule had performed bhoomipujan of the project and it commenced in 2017.
We urged NMC to lay pipeline after desilting of the nullaha. Instead of this the contractor started laying pipeline after breaking the busy road which not yet solved the issue of stinking smell, he added. He said, “After five years of the bhoomipujan the project is still incomplete and the suffering of the residents of the locality is remained the same.” Now, the civic body claiming that the work stopped due to some technical reason. This type of response is clearly showing how the civic body handle the public issues when the pandemic is underway, said Khurana.