Water channels on Mula Mutha River Closed, Criticise Pune Residents 

Water channels on Mula Mutha River Closed, Criticise Pune Residents 

Water channels on Mula Mutha River Closed, Criticise Pune Residents 

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As part of their Riverfront Development Project, the Pune Municipal Corporation closed two channels of Mula-Mutha river.

29 May 2024

By Khushi Maheshwari 

In a recent decision by the Pune Municipal Corporation, two river water channels flowing around Naik Bet and one other small island of the Mula and Mutha rivers were blocked. This move has been heavily criticised by environmentalists and activists on the grounds that it will lead to death of the dense green cover around the banks of the rivers because they will not receive ground water. 

In the Civic body’s defence, junior engineer of the project department Nikhil Gulecha, PMC, had told a newspaper that the decision to do stone pitching was taken on the grounds of research done by the PMC about the hydraulics of both the rivers. He added that this will prevent the water from leaking out to the city and doing harm and would also streamline the flow of the water. He further spoke about PMC’s plan to extend the green cover by planting more trees in the areas where concretisation has taken place, so that the aesthetic value of the area proliferates. 

Commenting on the response given by the civic body, activist Rupesh Kesekar said, “It is quite an amateur reply to what the problem is, the older trees have stronger roots, and a properly formed system to fight for their own survival even if no one is taking care of them, while on the other hand new plants need to be spoon fed, they require proper and constant care to survive.”

At the point of confluence of Mula and Mutha rivers, now only water flowing from Naidu Sewage Treatment Plant flows, explained Rupesh. He further shed light on other fronts about how this could pose a problem. The lack of green cover problem percolates to the dirty water problem which further percolates to an issue which would directly pose health issues for human beings. 

“Children from nearby villages come here to play in the water, they do not understand that it can have adverse effects on their health… The fish they collect from the river are also going to be harmful for human consumption since they will not be freshwater fishes.”