MPCB set to withdraw Nag denotification proposal

NAGPUR: In a major fillip to Nag river’s rejuvenation plans, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) is likely to drop the proposal to denotify the stretch from the river’s origin in Lava to Ambazari Lake. The state environment department and the MPCB had reportedly taken cognisance of the strong opposition registered by the Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA).

Top sources in the state environment department and the MWRRA told TOI that the proposal to denotify the river would be rejected in the meeting to be held on an unannounced date by the department’s review committee monitoring the rivers regulation zone (RRZ) policy. “The MPCB itself will moot the proposal to drop the denotification recommendation citing MWRRA’s objection and initiatives being taken in the city for the river’s cause. Informal discussions have taken place between the officials of environment department and MWRRA a couple of days back,” the sources said.

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NH Shivangi, who has recently taken over as the regional officer at the MPCB, told TOI that the MWRRA’s objection letter was delivered at the city office too. “The Nag river’s stretch from its origin in Lava village to Ambazari lake was notified as A-II class in 2000. This gradation is given if water is considered fit for drinking after treatment. However, a study conducted just before the denotification proposal was sent on September 1, 2012, revealed that water quality had deteriorated and was not potable even after treatment,” he said, adding the final decision rests with the state environment department.

Recent efforts taken by the NMC to rejuvenate Nag river and the objections raised by Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) to a proposal to denotify the stretch from the river’s origin in Lava to Ambazari Lake are likely to bear fruit.

Sudhir Paliwal, convener of the Vidarbha Environmental Action Group (VEAG) which has been in the forefront of the movement for the complete resurrection of Nag River, said, “The decision to drop the denotification proposal will help in the conservation of Ambazari Lake too, which now receives highly polluted water. The MPCB’s contention about treated water not being used for drinking is wrong. MIDC Hingna lifts water every day from Ambazari Lake and supplies to some villages after treating it. Besides, the lake’s treated water is also used by beverage companies,” he said.

Paliwal said the river rejuvenation must take place from its origin. “The river’s origin has been proved time and again. The environment department had notified this stretch on the MPCB’s recommendation,” he said.

On January 2 this year, TOI had reported about the MPCB regional office’s proposal to denotify the river’s first stretch, which received strong opposition from greens and even mayor Anil Sole. TOI-MT-organized 17-day ‘Save Nag River, My City, My River’ campaign in March-April and the subsequent cleaning operation by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation in May created large-scale awareness about the importance of the river. Even the Nagpur zilla parishad, under which the first stretch falls, opposed the denotification move.

In April, Zero Gravity, the NGO which partnered TOI-MT’s campaign, too had registered objections to the MPCB move by submitting a memorandum signed by hundreds of citizens.

MWRRA chairman R Budhiraja and member Chitkala Zutshi had assured the NMC that it would to take efforts for the river’s conservation. Zutshi had even inspected the river’s first stretch.

Budhiraja too had written to the state environment department in July not to denotify the river.

The street floods!

When the first drop fell on my cheeks, I knew it was time to welcome the rains. A Nagpurkar can truly understand the joy of the fragrance of the wet land, after a scorching summer. We eagerly wait for the rains to moisten the cracks on our lands, to get our seeds sprouted, to water our thirsty gardens.. every single life sings when the rainy season starts here. Monsoon is the most sought after friend for us.
But this year, the rains started with such an energy that at times it felt we were drenching. ‘When will it stop raining?’ ‘Don’t go, there’s too much water out there!’ These were the cries we heard. I heard a horrified little girl asking her mother, ‘Mamma are there floods in our city? We will also sink and die?’ That was very disturbing.
This time there was so much water on the roads that even the larger boats could be introduced as new mode of conveyance!
995447_10200575673771115_1915135190_n(Pic taken near Alagangle..LAD bridge )
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(Pic taken in front of alagangle )

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(Pic taken in sitabuldi )

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If cities are in such an agony, the villages must be sinking. We can only imagine.
No doubt that this calamity like situation did show that the human spirit is there to manage crisis. People were helping each other, taking out ways, showing directions. Some sights really amazed me, the vendors on the streets shut their shops and were helping people get through watery roads. Some local guys stood up there controlling traffic to avoid jams. Whenever such apathy comes, we, the people come and help each other. There can’t be a better example of democracy – (problems) of the people, (help) for the people, (solved) by the people! Salute to all those saviours!
But, this is not the solution. Like they say, Prevention is better than cure.
Its high time now. If such conditions prevail longer, then Nagpur won’t be far away from the hazardous 26 July nightmare!
When streets fill with water, so many problems arise; blocked roads, vehicles’ breakdown, traffic jams, electricity cut offs, network jams and so much more.
Since last 4 months we are working for the Nag River Project. We saw two sides: a thirsty summer and a floody rainy season. Both extremes. And both hazardous! It was an eye opener. Someone rightly said, doing comes with a responsibility of maintaining.
It’s time the authorities take up measures for managing such crises. Citizens are ready to speak, ready to suggest and ready to help. It’s time they take us seriously and start working. Start working, before its too late!

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Thanks to all who shared these images from different parts of nagpur..

NAGPUR TOWARDS ECO CITY ? (video documentation )

An eye opening talk given by Ar. Pradyumna Sahasrabhojanee on 19th eve in front of seventy five people. Ar. Pradyumna Sahasrabhojanee working on the river and other heritage from last 2o years. This talk being organized adjacent to the Nag river to give basic knowledge about it to the volunteers of AlagAngle, who will be participating in a four month long project ‘Hamari Nag River’. Addressing the volunteers PradyumnaSahasrabhojanee of Vidarbha Nature and Human Science (VNHS)centre said that decentralized systems were the only way to help clean the Nag river. India is one of the very few countries in which civilizations and nature have always gone hand in hand. When the formation of cities started it is then when all the problems relating to nature came into existence. Cities started using up most of nature’s resources thus not giving it enough time to regenerate and ruining the balance of nature and human existence. Water is one of most important resources that gets adversely affected by this centralization and selfish needs of the city. The main reason why the nag river is polluted is that all of the sewage that comes from around the city flows into this river. Unknowingly we are polluting the essence of our very city. The situation is so bad that the river is also polluting the water bodies around it such as the Wena and Wainganga. “The magnanimity of the projects or the money spent won’t help as they are all centralized. It has to begin at homes and then done at regular intervals by using techniques like green bridges which would be basically phytorite treatment centers,” Sahasrabhojanee said. IMG_0011 IMG_0023 He also spoke about the assumed and the real origin of the Nag River. “Most think that Nag River originates from Ambazari tank. But a dam cannot be the origin of a river, a dam is made on a river,” he said. He showed a video which showed how he along with others had traced the origin of the river from Lava near Dhaba, on the outskirts of the city. The river then flowed to Ambazari catchment area, filling up the abandoned mines around it and finally reached the lake., from the dam of which it is considered to begin.

Solutions to this can be setting up small treatment plants in each house to recycle and reuse water which has been used only once, making every household or every society self-sustainable so that they don’t unnaturally depend on nature to fulfill their needs. Changing the technology of present treatment plants to achieve more output and accountability. These can prove to be workable solutions. On a larger scale we can propose changes in the architectural planning of the city in such a way that the waste does not flow into the river and have an alternate way of disposing or recycling it.

Decentralization, judicious use of resources, recycling and reusing policy can prove to be very easy solutions and go a long way in making Nagpur an ecocity or for that matter a self-sustainable one. He said that Nagpur has a good opportunity to save the river from which it has got its name. “Other places the river flows into the city from some other place, Like in the case of Yamuna. People from Agra cannot do anything if it is coming polluted from Delhi. But here, the river is starting from the city itself. So we can ensure that it goes out clean,” Sahasrabhojanee said. “Rivers should be recognized as principal biodiversity corridors and cities should develop as eco city and not industrial city. With proper measures taken, cities can become the centre of eco-regeneration,” he said.