Agencies: Amid ongoing probe in Gomti Riverfront project, urban development minister Suresh Khanna and irrigation minister Dharmpal Singh have given three months’ deadline to the irrigation department to complete the project and also open the Gomti Barrage Road for commuters.
Khanna, who is heading the panel formed by CM Aditya Nath Yogi to study the report of the committee which probed the alleged anomalies in the Gomti riverfront project, made a spot visit on Wednesday for a surprise inspection of the river from the rubber dam near La Martiniere College up to Daliganj Railway crossing. He was accompanied by the irrigation minister.
The ministers instructed officials to complete the project within three months with whatever leftover funds they have. “The project initiated by previous government has deteriorated the Gomti’s condition. We have to take steps to restore its health. We have asked all involved departments like Jal Nigam, UP Pollution Control Board, LDA and irrigation department to rationally utilise their funds to complete the project,” the irrigation minister said.
“We won’t stop the project, but will encourage rational utilisation of funds available with various departments,” he said. The target involves completion of rubber dam (which will regulate water flow in Gomti), construction of intercepting drains and diaphragm wall, plantation and their maintenance through sprinkler system and opening of Gomti barrage route in the next three months.
While Jal Nigam will tap nullahs to prevent sewage discharge in Gomti, LDA will complete its 1.5 km stretch which involves construction of toilets, pathways, cycling tracks, plantation etc near Daliganj Bridge. The riverfront project which involves cleaning of water, beautification of banks and channelizing the river started almost two years ago but has been limping for the past several months. The project’s cost also escalated to over Rs 1,500 crore but still it is far from completion. This led to the CM forming a committee to probe into the expenses incurred in the project. After the committee submitted its report, CM formed a panel under Khanna to study the report.