Terming the Gomti river as tributary of the holy Ganges, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath pointed out that the river should have been initially linked to the ‘Namami Gange’ project and the fall of dirty water into it should have been stopped so as to ensure that the water in the river remain clean and flowing. But this was not done.
Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath today reviewed the Gomti Riverfront Development Project and expressed his dissatisfaction at the slow pace of work as in the past two years since the project started less than 60 per cent work has been completed while the deadline for completion of the project was May 2017.
Of the Rs. 1500 crore earmarked for the project, Rs. 1433 crore has already been given to the executing agency against which Rs. 1427 crore have already been spent. Now the department was asking for Rs. 1500 crore more.
The Chief Minister also expressed his displeasure at the progress and utility of the project and said the actual motive of such a project should have been to stop influx of dirty water from drains from falling into the river. Yogi also directed officials that after a stipulated time frame no drains should be allowed to fall into the Gomti river and that based on requirement, under the ‘Namami Gange’ project, capacity of existing STP’s should be enhanced and estimates for setting up of new STP’s should be presented at the earliest.
The Chief Minister also pointed out that work on the project was fully given in the hands of contractors and the executing agency without any monitoring and that they first spent all the funds on non-essential heads whereas the work on the crucial inter septic tank on both sides which was aimed at tapping dirty drains was left midway and incomplete.
He directed concerned officials to ensure that work on the under construction septic drain is finished by May 2017. With this, he added, the diaphragm wall being constructed on both sides be extended up to Kala Kothi. Yogi Adityanath also directed the Chief Secretary to ask the concerned principal secretary to review the progress of the project every week and to present his opinion on the actual expenditure.
In the same manner, he ordered, all principal secretaries also review project works in their departments so that unnecessary expenditure is immediately arrested. With this, he said, it should also be ensured that work on the project is not only completed in fixed timelines but also with all quality standards being adhered to so that it can benefit the people.
The Chief Minister also stated that the present State Government was committed to bring to an end, at all costs, the graft in the government projects and sternly said that the plunder of public money cannot be allowed. With this, the Chief Minister said attention should also be paid to the utility of any project so that it benefits the people of the State.
The Chief Minister also expressed his displeasure at the fact that despite spending Rs. 1400 crores, polluted water was going into the Gomti river and pointed out how the executing agency had wasted public money on construction of non-essential items like fountains. He also added that despite raps by the National Green tribunal (NGT), very little work had been initiated in direction of preventing dirty drains from flowing into rivers.
The Chief Minister also raised questions on the preparedness of officials with regards to the project and said a threadbare discussion should have preceded the project on funding and expenditure. It may be pointed out here that to complete the project, the Jai Nigam will require about Rs. 750 crore for upgrade of capacity of STP at Bharwara and to take inter-septic tanks to Bharwara while the irrigation department has stressed on the need of Rs. 900 crore extra funds to complete the project.
Also present on the occasion were Deputy Chief Minister Dr. Dinesh Sharma, ministers in the State Government Suresh Khanna, Ashutosh Tandon, Rita Bahuguna Joshi, Brajesh Pathak, Dharampal Singh, Swati Singh, other public representatives, Chief Secretary Rahul Bhatnagar, Principal Secretary (Information) Navneet Sehgal and other officials.