Program name: Swacch Bharat Abhiyan and Tree plantation
Name of Project: Sabarmati River Cleaning and Increasing Green Cover as a part of Swacch Bharat Abhiyan
Project Title: Cleanliness and Tree plantation in Sabarmati Riverfront
Program area: Ahmedabad city (Gujarat)
Organisation name: Drishti Foundation Trust (DFT)
Duration of the Project: 1 Year
Partner: ONGC, Ahmedabad

Vision: Drishti Foundation Trust has taken an initiative for sustained cleanliness activity of River Sabarmati starting from Torrent powerhouse up to Indira Bridge side along with the Tree Plantations.

Mission: We intend to take up the removal of plastic waste, metal waste, construction material waste, dead wood and leaves, debris collection and its removal from the river. Moreover, we are planning to clean river water by removing plastic and other floating waste.

Cleanliness is next to Godliness

Introduction

Ahmedabad lies at 23.03°N 72.58°E in western India at 53 meters above sea level on the banks of the Sabarmati River, in north-central Gujarat. It occupies an area of 464 km2 (179 sq mi). The Sabarmati frequently dried up in the summer, leaving only a small stream of water, and the city is located in a sandy and dry area. However, with the execution of the Sabarmati River Front Project and Embankment, the waters from the Narmada River have been diverted to the Sabarmati to keep the river flowing throughout the year, thereby curbing Ahmedabad’s water problems. The steady expansion of the Rann of Kutch threatened to increase desertification around the city area and as much of the state. However, the Narmada Canal network is expected to address the concerned issue. Except for the small hills of Thaltej-Jodhpur Tekra, the city is almost flat. Three lakes lie within the city’s limits Kankaria, Vastrapur and Chandola. Kankaria, in the neighborhood of Maninagar, is an artificial lake developed by the Sultan of Delhi, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, in 1451.

Ahmedabad is divided by the Sabarmati into two physically distinct eastern and western regions. The eastern bank of the river houses the old city, which includes the central town of Badras. This part of Ahmedabad is characterized by packed bazaars, the pol system of closely clustered buildings, and numerous places of worship. It hosts the main railway station, the main post office, and some buildings of the Muzaffarid and British eras. The colonial period saw the expansion of the city to the western side of Sabarmati, facilitated by the construction of Ellis Bridge in 1875 and later the relatively modern Nehru Bridge. The western part of the city houses educational institutions, modern buildings, residential areas, shopping malls, multiplexes and new business districts centered on roads such as Ashram Road, C. G. Road, and Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway.

History of Sabarmati

The Sabarmati Ashram (also known as Harijan Ashram) was home to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi from 1917 until 1930 and served as one of the main hubs of the Indian freedom struggle. Primarily called the Satyagraha Ashram, reflecting the movement toward passive resistance launched by the Mahatma, the Ashram became a home to the ideology that set India free. Sabarmati Ashram named for the river on which it sits was created with a dual mission. To render as an institution that would carry on the search for truth and a platform to collaborate a group of workers committed to non-violence who would help secure freedom for India.

It was also from here on the 12 March 1930 that Gandhiji launched the very famous Dandi March 241 miles from the Ashram (with 78 companions) in protest of the British Salt Law, which taxed Indian salt in an effort to promote sales of British salt in India.

Alarming situation

From a long span of time the risk of dumping untreated sludge into our river was neglected in our government policies. Now, this neglect has magnified to become an enormous health threat. Researchers have found out that the presence of antibiotic-resistant E.coli bacteria in high concentration at the riverfront beside Sabarmati Gandhi Ashram. The Chandrabhaga drainage spits out the enormous amount of untreated sewage of about 60 million liters every day into the River Sabarmati. A thorough investigation conducted by Ahmedabad Municipal corporation(AMC) has witnessed six major and 10 minor outlets in the city that surround the city’s sewage treatment facilities.

Present Condition of Sabarmati Riverfront

Important Statistics

  • 40 Stormwater outlets which are meant for rainwater are instead carrying along domestic sewage owing to illegal connections by residential colonies.
  • Following Chandrabhaga 48 MLD worth of untreated sewage is injected into Sabarmati via AMC’s Vasna treatment plant.
  • Next comes Dafnala with 20 MLD untreated sewage being injected into the river.
  • Areas like Koteshwar, Motera, and Acher are each injecting worth 5 MLD of untreated sewage.

Which means that a  total of 225 MLD worth of untreated sewage is being dumped into the River Sabarmati. This immensely reveals how Safe wastewater management lacks priority in civic planning. However, the investigation also exposes that numerous place in the main upstream of Sabarmati river i.e the area beyond the Chandrabhaga and Dafnala was the housing societies who were the major contributors to the illegal untreated sewage.

Swacch Sabarmati Abhiyan for a cleaner and healthier India

Our Action Plan

Through our rigorous efforts from the past 4 months we are:

  • Cleaning the garbage from river belt along with floating garbage from the Sabarmati River.
  • Planting the Banyan/fruit producing tree along the river belt.
  • The plantation would be made along with students and communities and creating awareness and generating a sense of responsibility towards the environment.

Throughout the Year Work Plan

  1. Tree planting season commences by the participation of different schools student and communities.
  2. Weekly school club meetings, monthly meetings with various communities, forest, and school visits and inspections.
  3. We also intend to introduce Green Ahmedabad parties to celebrate every year’s achievements and recognize the most active members and stuff as a way of motivation.

Cleanliness Drive schedule

  1. Six Days a Week or 26 Days of Month
  2. Tuesdays to Sundays

Swacch Sabarmati Abhiyan for a cleaner and healthier India

Financial Sources

The project will achieve its financial sustainability by earning through the following components:

  • Community Contribution: Drishti Foundation Trust will encourage the community to contribute for the project as per their ability and intent.
  • Involvement of government and non-governmental stakeholders: DFT will establish effective coordination with local government, government departments, religious leaders, traditional leaders, NGOs as well as donor agencies, and solicit their all possible cooperation for the project.

Future Impact of the Initiative

  • To Make the River free from Garbage from River belt and floating Garbage.
  • The bacteria degrade organic pollutants, increases dissolved oxygen levels and remove odour.
  • Mitigation of floods and droughts
  • Cooling of the environment by evaporation which reduces temperatures.
  • Eradication of indiscriminate deforestation
  • Curbing soil erosion
  • Improved agricultural harvest from improved soil fertility
  • Wider source of income through animal husbandry, farming, value addition, and forestry
  • Controlled market through value chain addition
  • Acquisition of climate change knowledge
  • Adaptation of a tree planting culture in Ahmedabad
  • Improved standard of living in the city

The scope

This Cleanliness Drive will certainly provide and impart a better life for the people living in the city and we think there is an urgent requirement of such initiative at the present time in India. As we prepare for the next millennium, we must find solutions to the problems that exist today not just from a dental practice point of view, but also from an educational and political standpoint.

Let’s join hands on a mission to save her pride and to restore Her-Sabarmati River beauty to prosper a cleaner and healthier India from right today onwards.

Vande Mataram

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