The Pune Municipal Corporation has undertaken a very ambitious plan for the Mula-Mutha riverbank development project. This will take place over 11 stages and several new infrastructural upgrades can be expected under the same.
One of the most fascinating initiatives under this project is to start boating at several points along the Mula-Mutha river. Around 16 points are going to be considered for boating. Apart from this, 23 new tanks will be built for Ganpati Visarjan, 11 places along the riverside will be considered for chowpatty and snack corners.
In the 2021-22 annual budget, the municipal commissioner has granted Rs 150 crore for this particular project. The civic body has started work of demarcation of land, design, and find out possible stretches to complete with minimum acquisition of land and hurdles, estimate cost of stretches, list of government and private lands and send notices to them for acquisition.
Pune Mayor Murlidhar Mohol, speaking about the same, said, “We have two rivers flowing in between the city and there is a dire need to rejuvenate the same. While we are working already to clear the filth in the rivers and clear hyacinth, there is also a need to fix issues around the rivers and the banks and we intend to beautify the same as well. These projects will take a few years but we are sure that’ll be done over the time.”
Mangesh Dighe, head of PMC’s environment department, added, “The river flows through different parts of the city and we are working on three different stretches such as Kharadi, Aundh and Bund Garden to Sangamwadi bridge. Some of the land acquisition work is underway and we are taking no-objection certificates for the same.”
The rivers have become largely inaccessible from the city and are no longer seen as assets to the city. The city has turned its back to these rivers. In order to cope with these current issues and create a meaningful public realm along the rivers, Pune Municipal Corporation has instigated a comprehensive project - Mula, Mutha and Mula-Mutha Riverfront Development Project in the entire Pune Municipal Corporation area.
In November 2019, Maharashtra State Environment Impact Assessment Authority gave a no-objection certificate for the project. Now, PMC is awaiting approval from the state government to form a special purpose vehicle to operate the project like Metro and smart city. It has been pending for the last one year.