Three projects that can change the face of Surat – the riverfront development project, the rubber barrage project and the interceptor project – are delayed by six months to an year after they were launched with much fanfare.
The idea of building a rubber barrage, creating 10-km long lake, is six years old. Along with it, the SMC also sanctioned an interceptor project to survey, identify and divert the water outlets from many parts of the city that are likely to be submerged in the reservoir created by the barrage.
After the civic body approved the two projects in principle, it envisaged the riverfront development project on 54 hectares of land on the banks of the river in a three-kilometre stretch. This land belonging to state government was freed of slums by the SMC. The Tapi riverfront development authority was set up and the chief minister laid the foundation stone for the project on January 25, 2011.
However all the three projects, which together cost Rs 169 crore, are moving at snail’s pace. `We are just waiting for the sanction of state government, giving the land to the SMC on a 99-year lease,” said Ketan Patel, additional city engineer, in–charge of this project.
The rubber barrage project, estimated at Rs 100 crore, is in technical impact study stage. The standing committee of the civic body is likely to give a go-ahead to appointment of a technical consultant. Issues like tidal wave effect, submergence of sewerage outlets and storm drains of some city area will also be studied and this work once started is likely to be over in six months and work could start after tendering by March 2012.
For the Interceptor project of Rs 25 crore, the technical consultant has been appointed and has started survey very recently. It will take four months to complete. Water and power consultancy services (WAPCOS) has been given the work and they are likely to be given the consultancy work of the Rubber barrage project as well.
However delay in initiation of all the three projects has taken place. Reacting to this, Mayor Raju Desai said, “Barrage project could fulfill our additional water requirements for new parts of the city and riverfront development project could change the landscape of the river banks, the Interceptor project, along with the barrage could solve many purification needs. I have called for a progress report meeting on July 25 and we will try to expedite the projects.” He also added, “When we have sanctioned Rs 1,350 crore for capital works in a year we need to work with speed and precision.”
Jatin Shah, city engineer, said, “Tender scrutiny took longer time and so it is delayed. Moreover as this planning is for meeting the future requirements of the city we did not rush.”
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