Environment body calls for a rethink on River Front Development https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/pune/environment-body-calls-for-a-rethink-on-river-front-development-9044988/lite/
 November 28, 2023

The India Rivers Forum, is calling for a suspension of the River Front Development (RFD) project and a proper review with the participation of everybody. “RFDs have been promoted in a big way by the central and state governments across the country in the name of rejuvenating and beautifying the rivers. Some of the prominent sites for RFD projects across India are Varanasi, Bhagalpur, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Hyderabad, Jammu, Kota, Bilaspur, Patna, Guwahati and Pune. Though RFD aims to revitalise the riverfront areas, in reality these projects are less about river restoration and more about the encroachment of floodplains and riverbeds characterised by heavily concretised embankments and other structures like barrages and also reclaiming floodplains and riverbeds for real estate development. The Pune RFD project follows the same trajectory”.

“With more than 20 per cent of the floodplains already encroached, breaching both the 25-year and 100-year flood lines across the city, construction of embankments and barrages on the prohibitive zone under the RFD project would further constrict the rivers, reducing their carrying capacity leading to an increase in the flood risk. There is no room for the rivers to absorb floods under this project, especially considering that the Pune region is going to experience an increase in rainfall due to climate change and existing encroachments”.

“We are not saying that the river should be left as it is. The river, seriously, needs rejuvenation but the way it is being done is killing the river.