Date: January 06, 2020
Publication: Hindustan Times
Pune Environmentalists working towards the restoration of the Ramnadi river under the aegis of Kirloskar Vasundhara Film Festival have recommended a series of policy-centric initiatives in their report entitled ‘Ramnadi Flood Report’.
The report prepared by the riverine ecosystem rejuvenation experts and environmentalists that was submitted to Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Monday for action, strongly emphasised the need for flood mapping of all existing streams and tributaries, and for all encroachments to be removed from within the flood lines.
The panel of experts has also called for an immediate stoppage to further embankments of streams, rivers and tributaries. The experts were addressing media persons during the 14th edition of Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival (KVIFF) currently underway in the city from Jan 3 to 7 at Bal Gandharva Ranga Mandir, Shivajinagar and Archive Theater Campus.
Ecological Society president, Gurudas Nulka, a noted environmentalist and panel expertm said that urbanisation and subsequent encroachment had disturbed the riverine ecosystem of Ramnadi wherein the subject experts have expressed their viewpoints in changing the existing scenario through the promotion of river literacy based on the mission of environmental protection and conservation.
“We made recommendation to the civic authorities and stakeholders to incorporate our recommendations which will bring about a complete change in the river restoration project and the next generation can derive immense ecological benefits out of the rejuvenation project,” he said.
Shailaja Deshpande, founder-director Jeevitnadi Foundation said that climate change was inevitable and extreme events were increasing pattern of rains in the region. Pune must adjust its growth prospect in consideration of climate change mitigation.
“The hills are intervened drastically, natural drains and first-order streams are vanishing creating a sheet flow. The increasing platform levels along the banks with debris dumping is the latest trend after the floods and creating embankments is on the rise after floods at various locations,” she said.
The report in detail has been entitled as ‘ Wrath of rains-Ecological analysis and mitigation measures for Ramnadi and Ambil Oda Floods of 2019 .’ The Ramnadi Restoration Mission has undertaken the challenge of improving the Ramanadi ecosystem of the city.
In 2019, within a span of two months, Pune faced two unprecedented floods-first in Ramnadi and later in Katraj and Ambil Oda. Both the natural disasters caused the loss of life, the devastation of living conditions and incurred huge financial loss. The report is authored by Shailaja Deshpande and Gurudas Nulkar with the editorial assistance of Sanjeev Jagtap.