Additional commissioner Prakash Kadam said the civic body has prepared a report estimating an expenditure of Rs 497 crore for developing the riverbed, preventing encroachments, providing roads for increasing connectivity and providing entertainment facilities for people visiting the riverbed. Sanjay Kulkarni, executive engineer, environment cell, said, “The civic body has prepared the plan to develop the 20-km-long stretch of Pavana river from Mamurdi to Dapodi that lies within the municipal limits.”
He said that untreated sewage that flows into the river is polluting the Pavana and will be dealt with as part of the plan. “The civic body has constructed sewage treatment plants to treat the sewage within its jurisdiction, but there are no treatment plants in the areas of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation, due to which the untreated sewage flows through the nullahs.” Kulkarni said, “The PCMC plans to block the nullahs about a metre before they join the river and carry the sewage through pipelines to the nearest treatment plant. Wherever this is not possible, we will use mobile treatment plants to treat the sewage.”
The civic body proposes to create cycle tracks and pathways along both sides close to the river. The plan will depend on the width of the riverbed which varies between 80 and 100 metre, depending on the slope of the area along the river. “We also propose to create two to four-lane roads on both sides of the river at a higher level depending upon the availability of land,” he added. The PCMC also proposes to landscape the remaining area as it lies in the green zone. “There are bunds on the Pavana river at five places — Ravet, Thergaon, Chinchwadgaon, Kasarwadi (Pimpri) and Sangvi — due to which the water level in the river is not uniform and water transport cannot be started in the river,” Kulkarni said.
Due to the stagnation of the river water at the bund at Pimpri Military Dairy Farm, there have been complaints from residents of Pimpale Saudagar, Kasarwadi and nearby areas about the mosquito menace. Kulkarni said, “The civic body will conduct a survey of the five bunds within the municipal limits and determine whether they are really needed. We will demolish them if they are found to be of no use. Large scale silting has occurred in the river due to the bunds as no desilting was conducted for at least 20 to 30 years. The civic body proposes to install gates at the bunds to regulate the flow of water as well as control silting. This will also reduce the mosquito menace.” He said that desilting of the river will be done and a gabian wall will be built along the river to train the flow of the river.
Meanwhile, the civic body proposes to create entertainment facilities in the second phase to generate revenue which can be used for recurring expenditure on operation and maintenance of the areas developed in the riverbed. “Cable car ropeway, children’s play park and ‘Nana-Nani’ park will be created. We also plan to build an underwater aquarium near one of the bunds. A monkey bridge will come up on the river to provide a long scenic view of the vicinity,” Kulkarni added. The civic body also intends to develop the Moraya Gosavi temple in Chinchwadgaon and Jhulelal temple in Pimpri located along the Pavana river as heritage structures.
Vikas Patil, president, Pavana Sudhar Manch and Paryavaran Sanvardhan Samiti, said, “The civic body should first remove debris dumped in the riverbed. There should not be any man-made structures in the riverbed like roads. The natural surroundings of the river should be protected. The civic body must take care that no untreated sewage enters the river so that the river remains clean. Bare minimum concrete should be used to beautify the river.”