“Ganga promenade on the anvil” by Alok K.N. Mishra, Times of India
By Alok K.N. Mishra
Friday, September 9, 2011
PATNA: National Ganga River Basin Authority (NGRBA) has got a detailed project report (DPR) prepared to develop a promenade (walkway), plant trees and construct recreation clubs along the Ganga in the city.
The DPR has been completed by architectural consultancy firm, Sen & Lall Consultants. Bihar Urban Infrastructure Development Corporation ( BUIDCO) will be implementing the Rs 125-crore project after NGRBA gives its final nod.
The six-kilometer-long walkway will originate from Collectorate ghat and end at Nauzar ghat in Patna City. Along this walkway, a park will be constructed at Gaighat and one recreation club each will be made at Collectorate and Bhadra ghats.
To provide a lush green look to the bank of the Ganga in the city, urban designers have planned beautiful landscaping. It has been planned to install over 500 benches along this concrete, 20-feet-wide stretch to provide space to walkers to relax. Trees will be planted at the southern side of this walkway to ensure greenery and fresh air.
“We have laid more emphasis on tree plantation. Patna does not have breathing space; that is why, this project will come as a godsend. If it comes coupled with greenery it will be a real boon for the city-dwellers,” said Krishna Lall, MD, Sen & Lall Consultants.
A total of 17 ghats will be developed, landscaped and beautified under this project. These will be besides the four ghats which have already been developed by the Bihar government like Gandhi ghat where Bihar’s tourism department organizes Ganga aarti. According to the architects, development of each ghat would cost around Rs 2.5 crore.
Krishna Lall told TOI that at four places link walkway, which will be slightly above the ground, will be developed. Due to unfit geographical condition, pathways are difficult to be developed at these points.
The World Bank president, Robert Zoellick, who had visited Bihar recently, had expressed interest in the project. The bank is ready to provide finance to NGRBA for the purpose.
“The project was taken up to ensure effective abatement of pollution and conservation of the Ganga. Not only will the development of walkway provide breathing space to city-dwellers, but also play a significant role in keeping the city clean,” Bihar’s urban development principal secretary Shashi Shekhar Sharma said.
In view of the huge response to Ganga aarti at the Gandhi ghat here, it has been recommended that out of the 17 ghats, five ghats will be specially developed so that more aartis could be performed.
“These ghats will have recreation as their basic theme. The project will have a far-reaching effect on the transformation of the urban life of the city,” said Nishant Lall, urban designer, who is also working on the project.