New Delhi: Yamuna riverfront development project is set to come out of cold storage with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal slated to launch the ‘concrete-free’ project’s first phase on November 2.
A five-kilometre-long stretch from upstream Wazirabad, a North Delhi district, has been chosen in this regard. Water Minister Kapil Mishra said the work will be completely ecological and involve the construction of temporary structures only.
An amount of Rs 200 crore has been set aside for the project by the Delhi government and the first phase will be launched by June next year, Kapil Mishra told reporters here, adding that Delhi Development Authority or DDA, which owns the land, has authorised the government to start work.
Mr Kejriwal will make the official announcement after the ‘Yamuna Aarti’ at the Sonia Vihar ghat, he said. At last year’s Aarti, he had promised to clean and revive the heavily-polluted river in five years.
Kapil Mishra said the detailed project report of the Delhi government’s ‘Yamuna Turnaround Plan’ was ready and awaiting “financial consensus”.
“The event will see the participation of around 10,000 people. The riverfront will have wetlands, facilities of rowing, canoeing, a modern akhara (traditional wrestling pit). Concrete will not be used and the structures will be made of bamboo and wood,” Kapil Mishra said.
Kapil Mishra said Geeta ghat was in the process of being given a complete new look. A ‘Nakshatra Vatika’ (garden as per Vedic astrology) and a medicinal garden was being built there, he said.
Rashtrapati Nilayam in Hyderabad, one of the Presidential Retreats, has a similarly structured garden.
Kapil Mishra said the riverfront development will be in line with the recommendations of ecologist CR Babu and NGT guidelines. CR Babu had submitted a report to the DDA in this regard in October 2013.
The ambitious plan seeks to develop the entire riverfront stretch in Delhi by way of creating wetlands with a variety of plants to clean sewage flowing into the river among other methods.
On the recent idol immersions, Kapil Mishra praised people for “not straying” from the enclosures identified for this purpose.