Raja Mill Road to Kuruvikkaran Salai to mirror Gujarat’s Sabarmati riverfront

An evening jog by the Vaigai river will soon be a reality for residents of Madurai. Preparatory work will commence from February on the development of a two-km stretch along the riverfront by the Madurai Corporation as part of the Smart Cities Mission.

The area starting from Raja Mill Road to Kuruvikkaran Salai is expected to mirror Gujarat’s Sabarmati riverfront. The stretch will display an aesthetic walkway along the banks. This will be interspersed with small gardens and a railing, according to Corporation Commissioner S. Aneesh Sekhar.

“The river bank here doesn’t have the luxury of space like Sabarmati but we are doing our best. The project aims at being an asset for the city,” said the Commissioner. The ad hoc structures constructed along the road for religious purpose would be reconstructed.

The river bed will be regraded and the river’s course restricted to two walls. Project design and consultation has been done by a private architectural firm, WAPCOS. The Commissioner and officials of the Engineering department said that most of these proposals would be sanctioned by February and tenders floated soon after.

The firm will also survey the environment and social impact of the riverfront development project. “Careful planning has been undertaken to begin this project as we are well aware of the hazards of a flood situation. This is not going to be like every other tourist attraction,” said the Commissioner while reiterating the environmental impact. The cost of the project would be determined after the detailed project reports were finalised.

N. Ramalingam, vice-chairman of Indian Institute of Architects, Tamil Nadu Chapter, said that the project would increase avenues for open spaces in the city. The space would become a hub of socio-cultural interaction as riverwalks and cultural programmes could be organised. He cautioned that engineers and architects must be well aware of the hydrological handling capacity in small cross sections of the river in order to prevent flooding and water-related disasters.

(Source: www.thehindu.com)

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