Gomti river flows through the heart of capital city Lucknow and it is the place where this river as suffered maximum destruction. Power came and went by and used river gomti as a resource of money minting but none of them gave heed to what was transpiring through the river. River is dying a slow death.
Recently throned CM Mr. Yogi Adityanath on his visit to Gomti Riverfront expressed disappointment and distress with the work progression. In his inspection of Gomti riverfront development, he was astounded by the fact that more than Rs 1400 crores have been utilised till but the status of the project is still pending. He was surprised looking at the needless expenses on fountain and other decors instead of tapping drains dropping sewage into the river. He told that the main objective of the project is to make the river clean but nothing of that sort happened.
He further showed disappointment on the fact that after spending more than Rs 1400 crores on this project, the project is still 60% complete and another Rs 1500 crores have been demanded for its completion. He warned the officials in charge to stay away from corruption and negate the ambiguity and finish this project as early as possible without wasting state funds. He also asked for Detail project report for which officials had no answer. He asked for detailed budget for which officials started giving him rough figures. Enraged from all of the above he ordered them to present the DPR and the budget of the project soon.
BallotBoxIndia in its research over River Gomti and Gomti riverfront have been pursuing the concerned authorities for the similar details to know and establish a detailed research report but was unsuccessful in retrieving the information. Ambiguity has been the biggest concern of this project with no information out in pubic domain. How much was budgeted? How much have been used? Where is the detailed project report? Did IIT roorkee approve this project? Effects of the construction and Environment impact assessment report? These and many more are unanswered till date. With the deadline for the project is less than 2 months from now, let us have a look on few points of ambiguity that has hindered Gomti River front project has been pointed out by new CM Yogi Adityanath.
Search for Detail Project Report and Environment Assessment Report
When project started in year 2015, BallotBoxIndia came upon a fact that the IIT-Roorkee and Uttar Pradesh's Irrigation department which is the nodal agency for the project have signed a Memorandum of Understanding(MOU) to conduct a survey and carry out environmental assessment work to foresee the potential environmental problems that would arise out of the proposed development and address them in the project's planning and design stage.This was ensured by the professor Kamal Jain from IIT-R's civil engineering department. Kamal Jain is a principal investigator of this study.
But strangely the construction in and around the river started without the report assessment submission from the IIT-Roorkee. When we inquired about the report submission by IIT roorkee to Irrigation Department(nodal agency) , replying to which they said the report is still not sent to the agency. Despite that the constructions had started.
When we approached Lucknow Development Authority and Irrigation Department of Uttar Pradesh inquiring about the Detail project report and the environment assessment report to scale on what basis is the construction going , they denied dispensing the information as threat to trade secrets or intellectual property under section 8-(1)D of RTI act 2005.
Falling drains are not a problem but drains dropping sewerage is
In our research over River Gomti and its tributaries we had found that the drains falling into the river are not a problem but the falling sewerage is. Several environmental experts advised that drains dropping sewerage tend to lower the nutrient content and dissolved oxygen density in the river water that destroys the aquatic life and other lives associated with it. It bad affects the ground water quality after perforation and makes water table unusable for agricultural and other purposes.
Yogi Adityanath on visiting the Gomti riverfront on monday expressed the sniff for the foul smell coming out of the river. The water is very dirty and stagnant. The foul smell rising from it makes difficult to stand near it. If on 27 march 2017 the state of water in the river near riverfront is this abysmal, then it is very clear that this project has done no good to the condition of river gomti.
He also inquired about the septic drain that was planned to made parallel to the river to tap the drains before falling into the river. But it has not started yet.
Misuse of money
Money of the project budgeted Rs 3000 crores was misused on creating decorations, fountains and other stuffs instead of using it on river cleaning measures. BallotBoxIndia had raised its concern over the approval of the fountain similar to that of the bellagio fountains in Las Vegas highlighting the economics and differences in basic needs.
Approval of Ferris wheel alike London eye was something was not required earliest. Though it is still yet not installed. The project has seemed shifting its objective or aim from cleaning the river to develop riverfront for the economic benefits on the cost of environment.
CM Yogi was furiated with the expenses in the needless decors instead of basic requirements and inturn have instructed the officials to avoid further wastage of tax payers money.