The ‘Dravyavati River’ provides the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government with a timely raft to win the race?

Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has inaugurated Jaipur city’s visionary Dravyavati River Rejuvenation Project executed by Tata Projects Limited. The hope is, the river would be in the flow before the model code of conduct comes into effect for the state assembly elections slated for December, and provide the Vasundhara Raje-led BJP government a timely raft to win the race.

Jaipur Development Authority gave a contract to a consortium of Tata Projects and Shanghai Urban Construction Group at a project cost of Rs. 1,676 crore to complete the Dravyavati River Project by October 2018.

The Rs 1676-crore project includes construction cost of Rs 1470 crore and 10 years maintenance of Rs. 206 crore.

It is a 47.5 km, (rainfed) riverfront, that had degenerated into an untreated sewage nallah, which was restored as a perennial river–fed by treated clean water.

This project aims to reduce pollution, treat 170 million litres of sewerage a day, create green spaces, social spaces, cycle and jogging tracks along its banks, and transform Jaipur into a clean Smart City.

Vinayak Deshpande, Managing Director, Tata Projects Limited said, “This project will become an example for river rejuvenation in India. It was executed in a short span, had many challenges and learnings for us.”

The 47-km-long Dravyavati River had been reduced into a drain during monsoon, thanks to years of negligence, haphazard urbanisation and unchecked encroachment. Under the roughly Rs 1,600-crore revival project, 170 million litres of clean water would be pumped into the river every day through five sewerage plants that have been set up along the riverbank.

Two years back, when the Chief Minister took up the flagship project that entails a world-class riverfront — to parallel the Sabarmati riverfront in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad — she expected to dedicate it to the people before the code of conduct kicked in. The end of this month will tell if the government can inaugurate the project before the election code, as planned.

Many areas of the river, starting from Jaislya village and ending at Dhund River, are expected to remain dry after the completion of the project as bringing water poses a serious a challenge.

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