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Udaipur’s Ayad river to be model for rejuvenating holy Narmada

File Photo caption- The panoramic view of the Ayad river overflowing during the monsoon which escalates the natural beauty of the city

File Photo caption- The panoramic view of the Ayad river overflowing during the monsoon which escalates the natural beauty of the city

Udaipur : Inspired by the success of the conservation project of the legendry Ayad river in Udaipur, authorities at Madhya Pradesh has agreed to adopt it as a role model for an ambitious task of rejuvenating the Narmada river. A portion of the holy Narmada extending to 1069 kilometer between Amarkantak to Aadhirajkot has been taken up for conservation and liberating it from high level of pollution. The project will be based on the low cost ‘Green-Bridge technology’ incurring no chemicals and hence involving no side effects. A massive plantation of 35 lakh saplings too has been planned under the initiative. N.P Shukla, the chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board, in his official visit to Udaipur recently, visited the Ayad river where the Green Bridge Technology have been implemented successfully. The officials were given a power point presentation of the Ayad model to understand its working by the office bearers of the Udaipur Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Few years back, the Ayad river which was in a pathetic condition, was taken up for conservation after initiatives by the active civil society. The work was lauded as a model for integrated water resources management (IWRM) and integrated lake basin management (ILBM) in the country. Ayad river which once had been a source of drinking water, in course of time, had changed into a dirty drain polluting the lake system. It carried entire domestic and industrial waste water of Udaipur and, totally depriving of oxygen to aquatic life. Anil Mehta and Dr Tej Razdan of Jheel Sanrakshan Samiti (JSS) had initiated revival project which won appreciation by the Planning Commission as a perfect model of public private partnership (PPP).

Green-Bridge technology- The “green bridge technology’”uses some natural bacteria, water purifying shrubs, plants, loose stones and sand, coconut coir and sunlight. This was unlike conventional systems, which require power, chemicals and machinery. In this venture, energy source is sun, air and they synthesise their own chemicals and assimilate. The JSS sought the help of Srusthi Eco Research Institute, Pune, for applying eco-techniques in the river. The installation of green bridges started in December 2009 at Sukha Naka, end of the river, the point from where it enters into Udaisagar lake. It’s an innovative approach to minimize the cost of pollution treatment when the cellulosic / fibrous materials like coconut coir or dried water hyacinth or aquatic grass are compacted and woven to form a bridge / porous wall like structure strengthened by stones and sand.

“ Bridges acts as filters. All the floatable and suspended solids are trapped in this biological bridge and the turbidity of flowing water is reduced substantially” Dr Razdan said, who gave a power point presentation of the Ayad model to the PCB authorities. The results came after one month of the installation and the process was over in the second week of March 2010. The foul smell started disappearing and aerobic conditions began setting up. The real changes occurred later and were evident. Birds started converging on the treatment location. The whole animal and aquatic life regenerated. The quality of water in wells around the river course improved. The physical, chemical and biological examination of water before and after of the green bridges showed great improvement within one month of the installation of green bridge system. The dissolved oxygen increased up to eight and biological oxygen demand and chemical oxygen demand reduced by 70 percent.

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