Agartala: Tripura Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha on Thursday laid the foundation stone of Haora River Front Development Project under the City Investments to Innovate Integrate and Sustain program of Agartala Smart City Limited (ASCL).
The project aimed to improve the river bank, river bed protection, construction of pedestrian bridges, roads, and architectural works; construction of in-situ Nalla wastewater treatment plants; and development of a horticulture project along the fertile river bank to promote organic farming in the city, Chief Minister said while addressing the gathering.
France Development Agency (FDA) formulated the project to develop Haora riverfront, as a space for recreation, business, and biodiversity conservation due to the rapid growth of the city’s population, where greenery has gradually been decreasing and citizens are striving for leisure and amusement facilities.
The Howrah River flows through Agartala and is the major source of potable water for over five lakh city dwellers. However, in recent years pollution of River Haora due to open defecation has posed a serious threat to the city administration, which was primarily because of human settlement at the river bank and raises of slums.
Unrestrained human activities in and along the river have caused massive soil erosion in over a century-old earthen embankment of Haora River, disposal of untreated sewage from the houses, and disposal of solid waste in the river, said Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of ASCL Dr Shailesh Kumar Yadav adding ASCL attempted a sustainable waterfront environment and redefining the identity of Agartala as a tourist destination.
The project will enable the growth of a sustainable economy by way of organic gardening, control soil erosion, and flooding by strengthening the earthen embankment, and finally arrest solid and liquid waste disposal by developing sewage and solid waste management systems, Yadav stated.
The FDA is funding for achieving components of the project, including strengthening the embankment of River Haora, provision for adequate sanitation and solid waste management facilities, development of event area, market area, amusement park, riverfront walkway and parking facilities, provision of water recreation facilities and plantation of organic fruits and vegetable gardening and urban forestry.