If all goes well as per the plans of the State government, Hyderabad will have a riverfront along the Musi similar to the one for the Thames river in London. 

The Musi, a tributary of River Krishna, is seen on a nearly 50 km stretch in the historic pearl city been a silent witness to the prosperity, fortunes and misfortunes of Hyderabad since its foundation in 1591 by Mohammed Quli Qutub Shah, the fifth sultan of Qutub Shahi dynasty of Golconda. 

But now, the past glory of the river has vanished, thanks to rapid urbanisation, encroachments and decades of neglect. According to a report of National Green Tribunal Musi is the most polluted river in Telangana and greets passers-by with a stink of garbage.

Waterfront vision

The idea of beautification with a waterfront is the brainchild of Telangana Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy who had seen the beauty of London with the waterfront of the river Thames during his visit a few days ago. “All major European cities which have a river passing through them have an inherent advantage of beautification. And as Hyderabad has Musi, the idea of the Chief Minister, it seems, is to make best of use of it,’‘ a senior official told businessline.

A special team on the beautification of Musi has been studying the waterfronts in the UK and Dubai and On Sunday, Reddy himself held discussions with officials and companies on the modalities to take the project forward. 

While about 70 global players have shown interest in the project so far, some are expected to visit Hyderabad soon for a ground report. The State government intends to have the waterfront in place in about three years from now. 

However, challenges galore. Clearing of encroachments, opposition from the slum-dwellers on the banks of the river, petty vendors and politicians apart from legal tangles may act as bottlenecks for the proposed projects. The pedestrianisation of Charminar project was delayed for many years and was abandoned midway after huge expenditure citing non-viability. It remains to be seen what will be the fate of the Musi Waterfront project going forward.