Letting the Yamuna nurture life
Replicating national and international riverfront development projects along the Yamuna might not be easy for the government
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?
The almost 20-km long Yamuna river gives Delhi its identity but is clogged with sewage, garbage and industrial waste