PMC urges PCMC, Khadki, & PMRDA Metro to help clean Mula-Mutha river

01 May 2023

The Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), Khadki Cantonment, and Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) Metro have all been requested for assistance by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) in removing water hyacinth from the Mula-Mutha river. While the PMC has started removing water hyacinth from the lakes and sections of the Mula-Mutha river that fall under its purview, there are other agencies, such as the PCMC and Khadki Cantonment, that must also be involved in some of the river's sections.

Mangesh Dighe, environment officer, PMC, said that the PMC has started removing water hyacinths from the lakes and the Mula-Mutha river. At present, the PMC has cleared all the water hyacinths from Jambhulwadi Lake. Whereas work on the removal of water hyacinth from the Pashan and Katraj lakes is 50 per cent and 40 per cent complete, respectively.

The corporation is facing a bit of a problem in removing the water hyacinth from the Mula-Mutha river as there are two other agencies involved namely PCMC and Khadki Cantonment. The hyacinth flows from the PCMC and Khadki Cantonment area to the PMC jurisdiction. It has to be a collective effort on the part of all agencies to clear the hyacinth from the Mula-Mutha river. PMC has written letters to the PCMC and Khadki Cantonment and requested help to remove the hyacinth from the river, told Dighe. He further added that the PMRDA Metro has built a small bund in the Wakad area on the Mula River due to which all the hyacinth has accumulated around this bund. PMC has also written a letter to the PMRDA Metro to remove the hyacinth. So, it will not make its way into the Mula-Mutha River.

Rinaj Pathan, superintendent engineer, PMRDA Metro, said that six months ago, they constructed a small bund at Wakad to work under the river bed to construct piers. They have completed work on the pier caps and will remove all structures from the river bed. “We will complete all the work before the monsoon. We will discuss the issue regarding the removal of the hyacinth.”

Ganesh Deshpande, deputy health officer, PCMC, agreed on receiving a letter from the PMC regarding the removal of the hyacinth.

He said that they have started work to remove hyacinths from the Mula, Indrayani and Pavana rivers. The work was assigned to three contractors. They place nylon strings for hyacinth to accumulate at one spot. During fishing, the boats cut these strings and hyacinth makes its way into the PMC jurisdiction. “We will try to remove the entire hyacinth from the rivers flowing under the PCMC jurisdiction. We have set a deadline to clear the entire hyacinth from the river by the end of May.”

The PCMC areas with the most water hyacinth infestations are Wakad, Kaspate Vasti, and Sanghvi. Seven of the 15 ward offices of the PMC are located along the Mula-Mutha river, but Aundh and Warje are the worst affected by water hyacinth. Bopodi and Mundhwa are both affected by water hyacinth. Prior to 2013, the PMC used JCBs to remove hyacinths from the Mula-Mutha River; however, starting in 2013, it has switched to using spider machines.

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