Friday, November 13, 2015

DO I OWN THE RIVER? - A Reflection..

All the major civilizations around the globe grew along the banks of rivers.. They were the lifelines for drinking water, agriculture, religious activities and many more. Pune too originated as a tiny agricultural settlement along Mutha river called as Punyak and gradually expanded over the years to become the present Pune city. Water was celebrated; involved in social, religious, cultural and day today activities. But this everyday interaction lost as time passed and slowly began converting to backyard drains. What ever interaction left is limited to Waste disposal and during Ganesh festival for idol immersion.

Everyone knows the reasons for pollution; projects are lined up; studies being conducted; but still no change in the water quality. With a water quality index (WQI) of 28, its heavily polluted.

The JICA funded Mulla - Mutha Pollution abatement project with a total cost pf Rs 990 crores is in pipeline to revive these rivers. Its a huge relief as it aims to meet the core pollution causes by cleaning the river and setting up sewerage system for the city. But this is not sufficient to ensure a sustained clean river. The continuous maintenance is a huge task. This can be ensured only by a sense of ownership in the residents. A simple thought of ' I Own the River' can work miracles. It can help the rivers to become Jeevith Nadi..

This sense of ownership can be brought by making rivers a part of our day to day life..The river sides can be converted to centers of public activities and recreational open spaces. Awareness creation via workshops, river walks, student camps, nature trails should be integral part of municipal budgets. A river day can be declared and programmes organised for cleaning and maintaining..

Once we start loving our river again, there is no turning back!!

Anu Kuncheria


    Samuchit Enviro Tech. 

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