Date: June 27, 2020
Publication: The Times of India
PUNE: A group of experts on rivers, the environment, and biodiversity have devised an action plan for the restoration of the choked Ramnadi.
The experts, under Ramnadi Restoration Mission launched by organisers of the kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival, have proposed measures to alleviate the flooding along the river, with excessive rains, encroachments, and a poor drainage system affecting more than 3 lakh people last year.
"The authorities focused on Ambil Odha, but Ramnadi also needs attention. All the government authorities can take measures to avoid flooding along the river," Virendra Chitrav said. He is director of the Kirloskar Vasundhara International Film Festival, which is coordinating the report, with inputs from a 100-plus experts.
The report has proposed redrawing the flood lines on river maps to prohibit construction near the channels, reforesting the banks and extensive measures to ensure a proper channel, and rehabilitate the four lakes along it course.
River experts said its ecological issues start at the source at Khatpewadi in the Sahyadris, right up to its confluence with the Mula in Baner.
"We found widespread deforestation with no soil capping, which were cleared out for farmhouses and resort, Near Bhugaon, there is almost no soil," Shailaja Deshpande of Jivitnadi group said.
A number of temporary hutments have been built right by the river. In the event of any flood, the people living in these hutments stand to lose the most, including their life savings.
"We need to make them aware of the danges of how they live and demarcate the flood lines. They have changed over the years for construction," Gurudas Nulka, one of the authors of the report.