Known to be one of the first-of-its-kind river rejuvenation activities in India, the Dravyavati River Rejuvenation Project was recently inaugurated in Jaipur by Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje. Originating from the western slopes of the Nahargarh-Amer Hills, Dravyavati River—also known as Amanishah Nallah—flows through the west side of the Pink City. On account of rapid urbanisation along with dumping of sewage, industrial waste water and solid waste, the once historically important river had been reduced to a nallah.
A consortium of Tata Projects, a Tata Group company, and SUCG International Engineering Company, a company of Shanghai Urban Construction Group (SUCG), bagged the contract to bring the river back to life. Developed at Rs 14.71 billion, the project was inaugurated on schedule after 30 months. However, an extension of six months had been granted to complete additional and finishing items.
The Dravyavati River project is an example for all states in India that face open drainage and sewage problems. Satyanarayana Kasinadhuni, COO-Industrial Systems, Tata Projects, elaborates on the benefits of the project:
Public health: Several public health benefits after the rejuvenation of the river include groundwater recharge, improved irrigation, better farm products, reduced open defecation, improved sanitation, cleaner air, mitigation of vector and water-borne diseases, creation of walkways and cycle tracks, and mitigation of foul smell owing to open sewage.
Flood control: Removing encroachments, clearing the flow of the river and constructing the river channel throughout have prepared the city for floods that might occur in the next 100 years. Major benefits include river channelisation, river flow control, and revival and restoration of dams.
Fillip to the economy: Notable changes include attraction of investment and tourism, land for development and better public amenities. Land prices adjoining the riverfront have doubled or tripled.
Urban infrastructure: Residents now have access to open green spaces, new roads and linkages, museums and an experience centre, a river promenade, sit-outs and public toilets, walkways, cycle tracks, better security, nodes and plazas, sewage treatment plants (STPs), sewer lines and service roads. A major part of the area lighting uses solar lights and LED fixtures.