At a time when most water-bodies are swamped with urban as well as industrial waste and are on verge of extinction, efforts are being made to revive the long lost splendor and beauty of Gomti River in Lucknow. The Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has initiated a comprehensive project for all round development, beautification and cleaning of Gomti River.
The Gomti riverfront development project, spanning across 12 km from Pucca Pull up to Shaheed Path, draws inspiration from international projects in Tokyo, Malaysia, Danube River in Vienna and Olympic park on Thames River in London.
The 3000-crore Gomti riverfront project will restore the beauty of Gomti River in three ways. Primarily, the riverbed will be cleaned at length using world class technology and tools. For the first time in UP, all filthy water from river bed has been drained out to make way for mechanical cleaning. The focus is also on regulation of water flow in the river using the technique of river channelization. In addition, surrounding area will be beautified through landscaping, development of parks, ghats, cycling and jogging tracks, children’s play area, sports fields, lawns, tonga track and introduction of boating facility on the river. Also, steps are being taken to make sure that sewage does not pour directly into the river. The work is expected to finish by June 2016.
A treat for the Lucknowites will be fancy and exotic illumination on the riverfront. The world class fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas would be seen decorating the clean waters of Gomti from June 2016. Taking inspiration from famous musical fountains of USA, the Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has suggested mounting a colossal Bellagio fountain near Gomti, as a part of Gomti riverfront project. Besides the Bellagio fountains, the irrigation department will also set up another 15-20 fountains. According to officials, all the fountains would adorn the Gomti at night. There are plans to showcase a movie based on Lucknow’s heritage on the water projector of the fountain.
Lucknowites can also look forward to a fun ride on Lucknow Eye – a 100 metre high giant ferry wheel patterned on London Eye on Thames River. Riding the giant wheel, people can enjoy a bird’s eye picture of the city. The Rs 102 crore ferris wheel will be brought from Holland from Dutch Wheels, the architects of London Eye. The irrigation department is also planning to start boating facility which will be a big attraction for tourists.
Taking note of the sewage problem, Jal Nigam and LMC have been asked to make sure that sewage does not flow into the river directly. All nullahs and drains will be tapped and sidetracked to sewage treatment plant. Additionally, irrigation department would link a tributary of Sharda to Gomti to ensure sufficient water supply during emergency.
Today riverfronts are a symbol of modernism and city beautification. They have started to emerge as active socio-cultural, economic and intellectual centers. A well-developed waterfront offers many benefits – increase in tourism, employment and growth, new recreation prospects for residents and awareness of the ecosystem of river life. A waterfront, just like city streets and public places, serves to bring together residents and visitors to enjoy a shared experience of the city.