Skip to main content

Debris "fill up" 44 lakh sq ft wetland in Gujarat's cultural capital, as Vadodara fares poorly in cleanliness index

By Our Representative
Vadodara, Gujarat’s cultural capital, is in spot. Top state-based environmentalist Rohit Prajapati and a group of “concerned citizens”, have shot a letter to senior government officials expressing concern that, over the last 12 years, according to the Gujarat Ecology Commission, the city has lost about 44 lakh sq ft of ponds and talaav areas, “much of this due to illegal or legalized dumping by the VMC and unscrupulous citizens.”
Pointing out that 16 out of 41 ponds do not exist anymore, the letter, addressed to the Vadodara Municipal Commissioner, Union and state environment secretaries, and state urban development secretary, among others, quotes a recent report as saying that, as a result, in “swachchhata” (cleanliness) ranking, Vadodara’s best ward (Ward No 4), is 728th in the country and 53rd in Gujarat.
Pointing out that Vishwamitri river, passing through the city, and its environs (tributaries, ravines, and wetlands), “have been used as the dumping grounds for solid and liquid wastes and, especially, construction debris for the last several decades”, the letter alleges, “The situation has exacerbated in the last few since demolition and renovation activities have increased in the city.”
Insisting that “this does not set a good example for the city with aspirations to be a Swachchh City by October 2, 2019 and a leading Smart City of India in the 21st century”, the letter says, “It is high time that the concerned government agencies and citizens take steps to clean up and restore all the water bodies, especially the tributaries, ravines, and wetlands associated with the river.”
The letter expresses special concern over “illicit or permitted” dumping of sewage and industrial liquid wastes and pollution into the water bodies, especially in the Vishwamitri river and its environs”, removal of soil from various sites, ponds, and ravines in the city-region; and immersion of idols and materials and remains from religious rituals into the water bodies.
Pointing out that despite inspection of the sites on June 20, nothing concrete has been done to clean up the environs, the letter says, “The Construction and Demolition Waste Management Rules, 2016, have not being implemented since day one, though these do not require intense technical know-how and could have been easily implemented.”
It adds, “The ‘flooding’ and waterlogging woes after the recent showers (not regular monsoon rains yet!) in the city, has only given us a glimpse of the serious environmental problems and health issues that can arise if the natural storm water system is not addressed.”
The letter warns, “We would like to reiterate that superficial efforts and lip service will not be adequate to address the above mentioned issues and we will be left with no other choice but to take up this grave issue to its necessary legal action.”
Those who have signed the letter are Dr Deepa Gavali, wetland ecologist; Prof Shishir R. Raval, landscape architect and ecological planner; Neha Sarwate, environmental and urban planner; Shakti Bhatt, water resources expert; Dr Jitendra Gavali, botanist; Dr Jayendra Lakhmapurkar, hydro-geologist; Rutvik Tank, civil engineer and urban planner; Dr Ranjitsinh Devkar, zoologist; Dr Arjun Singh Mehta, biotechnologist; and Dhara Patel, landscape architect; and Hitarth Pandya, educationist and writer.

Comments

TRENDING

ISKCON UK 'clarifies' after virus infects devotees, 5 die due to big temple meet

By Rajiv Shah
The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), United Kingdom (UK), has admitted that at least 21 of its devotees were infected because of the spread of the coronavirus amongst the UK devotee community following the March 12 funeral and March 15 memorial of the Bhaktivedanta Manor temple president, in which about 1,000 people participated. Regretting that five of the devotees have passed away, the top Hindu religious in Britain body does not deny more may have been infected.

As corona virus 'travels' to rural areas, NGO begins training tribals, marginalised women

By Souparno Chatterjee*
The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared corona virus a pandemic. Originating from Wuhan in China, it has traversed the entire globe, almost, and claimed more than 16,000 lives already. That’s largely the urban population. In India, despite all the preparedness and war-like promptness to safeguard against the pandemic, several lives have been lost , and hundreds of individuals have tested positive.

Idea of fair, tall, customized baby "rooted" in Nazi Germany, RSS' Golwalkar wanted crossbreeding with Brahmins

By Our Representative
Facts have come to light suggesting that the RSS’ experiment to have “fair”, “tall” and “customized” baby has an interesting Gujarat connection: It was first reportedly floated by its topmost ideologue Guru Golwalkar way back in 1960 while giving a lecture in Gujarat University.

COVID-19: Dalit rights bodies regret, no relief plan yet for SCs, STs, marginalized

By Our Representative
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the National Dalit Watch-National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, endorsed* by several other Dalit rights organizations, have insisted, the Government of India should particular care of the scheduled castes and tribes, trans folks, persons with disabilities and the women and children from these communities, while fighting against COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus scare ‘pushing’ people from Northeast India into more hardship

By Rishiraj Sinha, Biswanath Sinha*
“No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or his religion. People learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
***

Gujarat govt plan to 'banish' Gandhian activist anti-democratic, unconstitutional

By Rohit Prajapati*
The current Central and Gujarat governments, and their bureaucracy, have been and are still unable to answer and address the concerns raised, with facts, figures, and constitutional provisions, regarding the terror of tourism in the name of the Statue of Unity and tourism projects surrounding it.

Mallika Sarabhai releases speech she was 'not allowed' to give at NID Convocation on Feb 7

Counterview Desk
The National Institute of Design (NID) in Ahmedabad, a Ministry of Commerce and Industry body, landed itself in controversy following its decision to put off its 40th convocation ceremony, where noted danseuse Mallika Sarabhai was invited as chief guest. The ceremony was scheduled to be held on February 7.

Rani Laxmi Bai, Tatya Tope 'martyred' by East India Company, Scindia's forefathers

By Our Representative
In an email alert to Counterview, well-known political scientist Shamsul Islam has said that was “shameful for any political party in democratic India to keep children of Sindhias in their flock” given their role during the First War of Indian Independence (1857). In a direct commentary on Madhya Pradesh Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia moving over to BJP, Prof Islam has quote from a British gazetteer to prove his point.

Gujarat construction workers walk home as Rs 2,900 crore welfare fund lies unused

By Our Representative
Situated behind the Gujarat University, some of the families of the migrant construction workers from Dahod and Panchmahals districts of Gujarat, and a few from Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, who had stayed put in make-shift shanties in Ahmedabad’s sprawling GMDC Ground, have begun a long journey, by foot, back to their home villages in the eastern tribal belt of Gujarat.