Ghazi-ud-din Haider canal is a redundant canal that runs through the heart of the city, once built to facilitate nearby areas with water.
Haider canal was built by Ghazi-ud-din Haider Ali between 1814-1827. He tried to build a canal from river Ganga (Ganges) for irrigation purposes in parts of Hardoi, Unnao and Lucknow but it was a complete failure as contractors who carried the project lacked scientific and planned approach.
Four bridges still stand of which are one by charbagh, one by saddar bazaar and two beside government houses.
The project for this canal originated with Raja bukhtawar singh, who persuaded Ghazi-ud-din haider to build canal, in whose reign it started,thinking it would be beneficial to connect Gomti and Ganges for expanding commerce and helping agriculturists through a course of some 50 km. But faulty planning and improper pecuniary management led to the close down of the project.
Since then canal sits as left, it carries city's waste through the heart of the city and dumps it in the river Gomti near gomti barrage.
Can this canal be revived with proper planning? its a major tributary of River Gomti and carries storm water into it during monsoon. Its one of the major reasons of pollution in the river along with the Kukrail drain.
In various studies and projects the flooding capacity of Haider canal is proven. Recently Uttar Pradesh government planned a eco-zone project along a part of this to promote tourism and also maintain the natural flow of the canal. How successful it will be? only time and execution will tell. There is also a big STP planned at the confluence with Gomti for some time now. It will catch the drain before meeting the river and treat it.
As documented in the Gomti River's research the real problem with Gomti is not the confluence of such tributaries, but untreated, unchecked sewerage flowing through them into the river. Similar projects have failed across India, since storm water can lay the STP defunct requiring costly repairs, and these channels are supposed to carry only storm water, recharging the water tables along the way.
Building eco zones and no sewerage discharge restrictions along the whole length of this channel can not only revive it but also help revival of river Gomti. The sewerage should be intercepted in a decentralized manner right at the sources and treated with facilities like Cleanala System which has way low energy profile and are highly efficient.
The biggest irony with Indian channels and river tributaries is, though they are very important, not only for connecting river's health, and groundwater recharge, which are of secondary or long term impact. They have an immediate effect on urban flooding. Without the carrying capacity of these natural drains our cities flood, which drains already stressed exchequer in fire fighting and repeated maintenance of public facilities destroyed.
Cycles of epidemic is very common in Indian Cities owing to improper drainage and stagnant sewerage water due to high silting of these water bodies. Ground water contamination is creating another hazard in communities with longer term and way dangerous ailments.
India should understand these systemic and critical points of failures in our systems, and how these are all interconnected. Our love for huge and expensive projects which never solve the problem, but create headlines, if can be put to rest and real solutions, step by step are made, starting with the natural water bodies like these, it will start a domino of change in actually making a difference.
Building a mega STP at the end of this will not only create a single point of failure (Bharwara STP ran for many years without treating the waste water, pumping sewerage into Gomti with impunity) but also is not solving any of the connected problems due to dumping of city, industrial sewerage and solid waste directly into the canal. There is no point of very expensive dialysis and keeping the blood line choke full of waste.
Its a waste of public money to say the least and a major sustainability hazard for our community. India is filled to brim with such examples and the interventions by agencies are the same. Mega expensive projects.
Are you are affected by this canal, or know something about it. Or you know of a similar canal, tributary, water body in stress and want to do something about it. Click connect button below to get in touch.