The filthy Harmu river in Ranchi on Saturday. (Hardeep Singh)
Ranchi, July 19: The capital’s lifeline, Harmu river, may soon regain its lost glory and charm.
The state urban development department has almost completed the detail project report (DPR) with technical support of experts from IIT-Mumbai, BIT-Mesra and a Mumbai-based planning and designing company, Tandon Group, revive the river.
Under the proposed Rs 83 crore project, the department plans to infuse a fresh lease of life into the choking river that snakes through Nagri, Harmu and Kadru areas before meeting Subernarekha near Namkum. The DRP includes a beautification drive, an anti-encroachment initiative and installation of a sewage treatment plant to free the river of contamination caused by garbage, sewage and industrial waste matters.
Secretary (urban development) Ajay Kumar Singh said the plan was almost ready and they would start work on the project from August 15.
“The dying river is set to receive the much-needed facelift after years of neglect. We will seek the assistance of local people and social organisations, who have been campaigning for the revival of the river for long,” he added.
Town planner, the urban department, Gajanand Ram said they were taking help of experts from IIT-Mumbai and BIT-Mesra to ensure important parameters were incorporated in the DPR.
Elaborating on the plan, Ram said a sewage treatment plant under the National River Conservation Plan would be installed, slums and other encroachments would be removed from the river’s banks.
“Harmu river originates at Ranichuan near Dhurwa dam and flows towards north-east direction before falling into the Subernarekha River. Again, Getalsud dam on the Subernarekha supplies water to the entire capital city. Therefore, treating Harmu water is a must,” he added.
For beautification of the river and its surrounding areas, the DPR has provisions for lights, walkways, tree plantation etc along the riverbank.
Urban development department’s assistant director Pranav Kumar Pal said they would soon float a tender, inviting interested agencies to take up the beautification work. “We are hopeful that the process will be completed within a limited period of time,” he said.
On the other hand, deputy mayor of Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) Sanjeev Vijaywargaiya said, “The civic body has already started cleanliness drive along the river.”
In 2010, a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in Jharkhand High Court, seeking its intervention to rejuvenate the river. However, despite repeated reminders by the court, the authorities concerned kept dragging their feet on the matter, prompting civil society organisations to launch ‘Harmu Nadi Baccho Abhiyan’.
Ganesh Reddy, secretary of NGO Citizen Foundation, said they were happy that the state government had ultimately started the process. “But our crusade will continue till this project completes,” he said.