The 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 1, 2016. A five-kilometre-long stretch from upstream Wazirabad, has been chosen in this regard.
Water minister Kapil Mishra, revealed that the work will be completely ecological and involve the construction of temporary structures only.
An amount of Rs 200 crores, has been set aside for the project by the Delhi government and the first phase will be completed by June 2017, Mishra said, adding that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which owns the land, has authorised the government to start work.
“The riverfront will have wetlands, facilities for rowing, canoeing and a modern akhara (traditional wrestling pit). Concrete will not be used and the structures will be made of bamboo and wood,” Mishra said.
Geeta Ghat is being given a complete new look, while a ‘Nakshatra Vatika’ (garden as per Vedic astrology) and a medicinal garden, is also being built there, he added.
Kejriwal will make the official announcement, after the ‘Yamuna Aarti’ at the Sonia Vihar Ghat, said Mishra. At last year’s Aarti, he had promised to clean and revive the heavily-polluted river in five years. Mishra said the detailed project report of the Delhi government’s ‘Yamuna Turnaround Plan’, was ready and awaiting ‘financial consensus’.
Mishra said the riverfront development, will be in line with the recommendations of ecologist CR Babu and the National Green Tribunal’s (NGT’s) guidelines. The ambitious plan seeks to develop the entire riverfront stretch in Delhi, by creating wetlands with a variety of plants to clean sewage flowing into the river, among other methods.