On the occasion of the International Action Day for Rivers (14th March), the team of ‘Reconnecting with Godavari’ on behalf of Nashikkars would like to like to convey the following observations and suggestions to the Nashik Municipal Corporation, that we feel are the needs of the Godavari in Nashik city.
1.River as Heritage: We request the Nashik Municipal Corporation (NMC) to consider to declare the entire stretch of Godavari flowing through the city as ‘Heritage’. Not only the monuments or the historic sites along the river stretch, but the river itself should be considered as heritage. (NMC can adopt the framework developed by UNESCO for this http://rivers-and-heritage.com/)
2.Right to Space for River: As the Godavari is not a perennial river, thus often the floodplain area of the river is often encroached upon. We request NMC to see that the space of Godavari, which she needs for flooding is kept in natural and undisturbed state. This belt along the river should be strictly declared as ‘no development zone’.
3. Keep the River Flowing: We request NMC to monitor and regularly discharge minimum water required from the Gangapur Dam into the course of the river to keep it flowing.
4. Leaky Sewage Pipes: We request NMC to undertake monthly audits of the sewage pipes in order to abate mixing of sewage water into river water.
5. Maintenance of Open Drains and Tributaries: At many places natural/ built open drains and tributaries bring solid waste and sewage towards Godavari.
6. Need of Public Toilets: The stretch of ghats, on the both sides of the river, beyond the Gadge Maharaj Bridge is seen to be utilized by the communities living along the ghats and homeless for open defaecation. We feel the installation of movable public toilets or construction of public toilets in this stretch will definitely reduce this problem.
7. Maintenance of Parks built along Godavari: NMC has constructed several parks (like Smruti Udyan ahead of Amardham, Ramshrusti Udyan at Tapovan, and Godavari Parichay Udyan near Someashwar waterfall) along Godavari, but they lack regular maintenance. This is promoting the anti-social elements to breed in these spaces.
8. Conservation of Natural Drainage of the city: In the topography of Nashik, Godavari along with the tributaries like Nasardi (or Nandini), Waghadi, etc. also play an important role channelizing the stormwater during the monsoons. We request NMC to formulate an integrated plan for management of the entire natural drainage system of the city, as this will keep check on urban flooding instances which are becoming recurrent since past few years.
9. Citizen Engagement: Finally, we request NMC and the Godavari Conservation Cell to conduct monthly meetings (can be called as Godavari Panchayat) with Nashikkars to engage and involve them in the conservation of the water resources in the city.
We sincerely hope that the Nashik Municipal Corporation would take our suggestions into consideration.
The Team of Reconnecting with Godavari