Senior environmentalist, Rohit Prajapati of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Vadodara, has sent a notice to the Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar of the MS University, Vadodara, to stop illegal dumping of the Bhookhee Nala, which is a major tributary of the Vishwamitri river, running through the cultural capital of Gujarat. A copy of the notice has been sent to the municipal commissioner, Vadodara, the district collector, and the member-secretary, Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB). Text of the notice:
Bhookhee Nala, an important tributary of the Vishwamitri River, traverses from its origin in Chhani till it meets the Vishwamitri River in Sayaji Baug. On its route, both or one of its banks touches the MS University campus.
In fact, the Bhookhee Nala and its environs are being abused and neglected almost throughout its length by the by Vadodara Municipal Seva Sadan as also the MS University. Since 2004, we have been photographing the Bhookhee Nala at regular intervals to document its conditions.
It is shocking and surprising that the university authorities have been illegally dumping construction debris into and along the Bhookhee Nala behind boys’ hostel campus, east and south of near DN Hall Cricket Ground, near C. C. Mehta Auditorium, etc. under the highly questionable pretext of stopping erosion. Even Science, Arts, & Commerce Faculties, Polytechnic and their departments are dumping their garbage and laboratory waste along the Bhookhee Nala.
This is happening next to the history department, behind the Vice Chancellor’s Bungalow, behind the Science Faculty, which has, ironically, the department of environmental science. Even the department of architect of the Faculty of Technology is just at a walk away distance.
Educational institutes should show the way, set examples and not demonstrate wrong practices. Bhookhee Nala is a unique asset passing through the campus. We should restore and nurture it and make it a central green place for all to enjoy and learn the biodiversity and habitat values, in order to ensure a cooler micro-climate. It has an educational value. After all, ravines and tributaries serve as seasonal wetlands, store water during floods and gradually release it back into the river. It helps recharge the ground water. It also has its own unique aesthetic value.
Recently, some pitching work was going on between the bridges near Natraj Cinema and the CC Mehta Auditorium on both sides banks – the east bank is along the MS University campus, and the west bank along the Natraj Cinema and behind the new Mall-cum-Bus Depot. Who has allowed this to take place? What is the need for this? What is the cost? Who is paying? And How much?
This type of action destroys the natural habitat.
Your illegal action will increase the flood water velocity, and the downstream parts of the Bhookhee Nala will get more eroded, and it will, in turn, destabilize the banks and affect biodiversity as well.
Let us first stop dumping and polluting the Bhookhee Nala. Let us work together for its scientifically, technically and aesthetically appropriate design for restoration.
We demand that the authorities concerned should be immediately directed:
- To remove all the recently dumped debris and remove the debris dumped since 2006 and install Bio-Engineering Natural Water Treatment Facilities.
- To clean up the Bhookhee Nala and make it a model stream restoration project.