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NGO Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan writes to Delhi L-G
NEW DELHI: Alarmed by the upcoming proposals, non-government organisation Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan has shot off a letter to the Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna to stop more “pseudo bridges” from coming up on the river and disturbing its flow.
According to the YJA, there is a proposal to construct a pseudo bridge by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation across the Yamuna as part of its Phase III alignment joining Sarai Kale Khan with Mayur Vihar Phase I on its proposed Mukundpur-Yamuna Vihar line.
The YJA claims that none of these bridges are built across the entire active flood plain of the river in the city, but are actually cross bunds-cum-road on the river with the bridge portion being only over 500-600 m of the lean season river flow. “This is often resorted to in the name of cost saving, without taking into account the huge environmental costs (and additional dangers of flooding). It is unfortunate that such bridges hardly ever go through the scrutiny of the Environmental Impact Assessment mechanism of the MOEF,” said YJA convenor Manoj Misra. Appealing to the L-G, who is also the chairman of the Yamuna River Development Authority (YRDA), the YJA adds: “It is the reason why bridges in the past were always aligned across the narrowest stretch of a river. The best such example is the British time built road-cum-rail bridge that straddles the narrowest portion of the river Yamuna in the city. Since then 10 more pseudo bridges have come up on the river over its 22 km stretch from Wazirabad barrage till Okhla barrage.”
The NGO claims there are pseudo bridges at Wazirabad, ISBT, Shastri Park (DMRC) Gita Colony, ITO, Yamuna Bank (DMRC), New Railway Bridge, Hazrat Nizamuddin, DND and Okhla.
“The Signature Bridge is presently under construction and at least two more are planned as part of the Zone O (River Yamuna) zonal plan by the Public Works Department, one upstream of New Railway Bridge as part of the East-West corridor and the other as an extension of the elevated Barapullah road till Mayur Vihar Phase I. These all put together would mean 14 bridges on the 22 km stretch of the river in the city. This comes to on an average one bridge after every 1.57 km of the river,” the YJA has alleged.
The NGO has also suggested finding a design that will allow the Barapullah road extension to Mayur Vihar I and the newly-proposed DMRC bridge to be constructed in synchronisation. “Both the elevated Barapullah road extension to Mayur Vihar I and the newly-proposed DMRC bridge as part of its phase III are proposed in the same stretch of the river, why can't we plan them together as a road-cum-rail bridge and thus save substantially on costs,” Mr. Misra has suggested.
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