Let­ting the Ya­muna nur­ture life

Repli­cat­ing na­tional and in­ter­na­tional river­front de­vel­op­ment projects along the Ya­muna might not be easy for the gov­ern­ment

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Van­dana Ram­nani

There have been sev­eral at­tempts to clean the filth that flows into Delhi’s Ya­muna and to give it an iden­tity sim­i­lar to the Thames in London or the Seine in Paris. The re­cent plan has to do with peo­ple be­ing able to sail on the Ya­muna to Agra. This fol­lows the Cen­tre’s decision to seek help from the Dutch gov­ern­ment for an am­bi­tious project that in­cludes build­ing bar­rages and wa­ter ter mi­nals on both sides of the river. How­ever, can such an am­bi­tious plan ever come to fruition?

River­side and res­i­den­tial de­vel­op­ments along wa­ter­fronts are rel­a­tively new con­cepts in In­dia. In London, such prop­er­ties com­mand a pre­mium of about 10 to 15% over other de­vel­op­ments in the vicin­ity and 20% to 25% more in Bangkok, says Om Ahuja, CEO - res­i­den­tial ser­vices, JLL In­dia.

“It has been pick­ing up since the last four to five years. Ahmed­abad is the first city to have seen this trend emerge when Adani launched a mega town­ship project next to a river there. Kolkata has seen some river­front de­vel­op­ments on the out­skirts: The Un­i­mark Group’s Riviera is sell­ing at ₹ 3,500 per sq ft, the Fo­rum Group has a project, Fo­rum Pravesh, priced at ₹ 4,000 per sq ft,” he says.

Nitin Gad­kari, road trans­port and high­ways and shipping min­is­ter, had said re­cently that the gov­ern­ment had asked the Nether­lands gov­ern­ment agency to pre­pare a project man­age­ment re­port, in­clud­ing tech­ni­cal con­sul­tancy, “for which they have agreed.”

Ac­cord­ing to the plan, bar­rages are to be con­structed to en­sure a wa­ter level of at least five me­tres in the Ya­muna around the year to al­low trans­porta­tion of pas­sen­gers and goods through the wa­ter­ways. More bar­rages would be con­structed ahead of Wazirabad to en­sure Delhi does not face a wa­ter cri­sis. If need be, talks will also be held with the Haryana gov­ern­ment. “We have al­ready given a nod to fly sea­planes. We are al­low­ing hover­crafts and con­struct­ing wa­ter ter­mi­nals at both the ends of the Ya­muna on the pat­tern of air­ports,” he said.

Delhi De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity will beau­tify the river­banks while the Delhi Jal Board will pre­vent ef­flu­ents from be­ing re­leased in the river.

Too good to be true, isn’t it, es­pe­cially con­sid­er­ing the fact that the almost 20-km long river that gives Delhi its iden­tity is clogged with sewage and waste?

PHO­TOS: BURHAAN KINU, ARUN SHARMA AND SHRIKANT NARAYAN ARORA

The almost 20-km long Ya­muna river gives Delhi its iden­tity but is clogged with sewage, garbage and in­dus­trial waste

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