After facing repeated onslaughts, including being used as a dumping spot, a natural stream in Vetal Tekdi along Paud Road is set to become a distant memory after a brick wall was erected across it. The stream had taken a beating several times over and if allowed to sink into oblivion, could lead to flooding in the low-lying areas during monsoon. Three years ago, areas in Kothrud faced problems during the last monsoon.
Retired deputy town planner, Yashwant Kanhere (80), who resides in a housing society nearby, plans to raise the issue with civic body officials and apprise the state government of the matter if necessary. “I am pointing out this fact to the PMC as well as to the state government because disappearance of the stream may have direct and adverse impact on the environment and wildlife in the area. There are a number of peafowls and rabbits in the Vetal Tekdi area.”
Kanhere is preparing a detailed report of Vetal Tekdi and adjoining area, and would be raising environmental and ecologically-relevant issues threatening the area. “There may be a possibility of other natural streams being obstructed by human habitat and walls in future,” Kanhere said.
Prashant Kadolikar, an engineer staying at Sigma I Society near the stream, said, “I asked Kanhere, who is an experienced town planner, to prepare a report on the hills, which will be useful to create awareness among residents and businessmen in the area. We would also be informing the PMC and the government about the issue.”
Sunil Joshi, an activist of Jal Biradari, said, “The city had already faced problems three years ago when housing societies in low-lying areas of Kothrud were flooded. Two construction workers were washed away near Eklavya College during the deluge. The PMC should not let history repeat itself by taking inappropriate action at Vetal Tekdi, before the monsoon. There is need to identify such natural streams and make a list of such places in advance.”
‘Will take action’
Vivek Kharwadkar, additional city engineer, PMC, said, “Blocking a natural watercourse is a crime. We shall certainly take action if the stream is being blocked by a wall. We are ready to follow up on information about other streams in the area and do the needful to avoid flood-like situations during monsoon. The retired town planner should give us details and we are ready to follow it.” When questioned, Mangesh Dighe, environmental officer, PMC, also gave assurance that appropriate action would be taken in this regard.