ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Exploring Alternatives to the Sabarmati Model

Riverfront Development of Mula–Mutha

Like the majority of rivers in India, Mula and Mutha rivers of Pune, Maharashtra, have been condensed to severely polluted, vulnerable waterbodies. These rivers are burdened further as they are set to host a riverfront along the lines of the Sabarmati riverfront project, which itself has attracted severe criticism.

Rivers are plagued with pollution, exposing around 80% of the world’s population to high risk caused by anthropogenic stressors, while 65% of the world’s river habitat is now endangered (Vörösmarty et al 2010). A United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO 2018) report points out that a greater risk exists for some low and lower-middle income countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, as they have been experiencing water pollution since the 1990s, caused primarily by nutrient loading and chemicals in water.

The world’s top 10 rivers1 are at risk either due to engineering interventions, anthropogenic pressures or climate change (WWF 2007). Out of them, two rivers, Ganga and Indus, flow through India, where the increasing incidence of water pollution is acting as a “ticking time-bomb” (UNICEF et al 2013). A report by the NITI Aayog (2018) cautions about the worsening water situation in India with around 70% of its water being polluted, and thus, the country is ranked 120 out of 122 in terms of water quality. The Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change (MOEFCC), Government of India (GoI) attributes this largely to around 60% of sewage being dumped untreated into streams and rivers.

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Updated On : 18th Jan, 2021

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