PATNA: It should be music to the ears of nature lovers among Patnaites. The state urban development department has mooted an ambitious plan to develop a walkway for pedestrians along the river Ganga.
The proposed walkway, six metres wide, would stretch out on a 5.5 km length from the Collectorate Ghat to the Gai Ghat. A part of riverfront development programme, the pathway would also be of great convenience to those visiting the river bank during festivals like Chhath as it would allow them smooth and easy access to the existing and upcoming ghats.
The walkway will also provide an alternative passage to people going from one ghat to another without using the main road. This, in turn, would ease congestion on the main road.
Public utility apart, the walkway would help in preventing disposal of solid waste into the river or on the bank as it would act as barrier of sorts between the river and the residents of the area. It is also likely to check encroachments on the river bank.
The plan also envisages developing two socio-cultural centres. While one such centre would be developed near the Collectorate Ghat, the other one would come up at Bhadra Ghat.
These centres would provide an alternative venue for pilgrims and locals to undertake social activities and perform rituals which otherwise are performed at the ghats. These centres, thus, are likely to reduce waste disposal into the river.
“A Rs 150-crore proposal has been submitted to the National Ganga River Basin Authority for approval,” urban development department principal secretary Girish Shanker told TOI. If approved, the proposal’s cost would be shared by the Centre and the state on a 70:30 basis. “The proposal is a part of the department’s move to improve the usage of the waterfront from both recreational and ecological points of view,” he said.