The Telegraph
Tuesday , August 19 , 2014
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Push for Harmu revival plan

The stage has been set for revival of dying Harmu river with the authorities gearing up to float a tender within a week.

The detailed project report (DPR) that was prepared by Mumbai’s Tandon Urban Solution Private Limited for the much-needed facelift of the lifeline has been sent to IIT-Mumbai for vetting.

Soon after getting back the report with the requisite inputs and suggestions, the state urban development will bring out the tender.

Chief engineer of urban development department P.K. Sinha said: “At present, the DPR is lying with the experts at IIT-Mumbai for vetting. We expect it to reach us within a day or two and after that, we will float the tender. The entire process is likely to be wrapped up within a week.”

Officials at the urban development department said serious efforts were being undertaken to implement the Rs 84.28 crore project that is expected to give a new lease of life to Harmu and boost the state’s tourism prospects.

This apart, the department is also seeking advice from other experts to ensure that all areas of concern are rightly addressed.

“On August 14, principal secretary Ajay Kumar Singh held a meeting with T.N. Mishra, a member of state-level committee for renovation of Harmu and retired director (geology directorate). Mishra, a consultant and recognised qualified person of Indian Bureau of Mines and facilitator-cum-evaluator of Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology, suggested that proper attention must be paid on making the river a perennial one. The DPR prepared by the Mumbai-based agency does not mention this,” an official said.

Mishra agreed.

“At my meeting with principal secretary, I suggested him to conserve rainwater feeding the river through gullies, nalas and its tributaries by bori baandh (created by filling gunny bags with sand and soil). I also recommended constriction of check dams across the river at an interval of 500m each. Raising of ground water level in the adjoining area by construction of recharge pits and building rooftop rainwater harvesting structures were my other suggestions.”

There are two components of the project — core and non-core. The core components comprises de-silting and riverbed development, boundary fencing and controlled access, diversion of sewage and provision of sewage treatment plant, storm water channelisation, solid waste management and low cost sanitation.

The non-core components include river front development, creation of parks and gardens, jogging and walking tracks, area and street lighting, parking and recreational area development, water sports area development and tourism-related activities besides landscaping.

Principal secretary Singh said: “The chief engineer will be able to give details, but it’s true that the tender will be floated within a week after the vetting process is over.”

Harmu flows 11km in the city, making its way through Nagri, Harmu and Kadru before meeting Subernarekha near Namkum. Encroachments and garbage have reduced the lifeline into a trickle.