Vadodara’s Sindhi community that has for the past several years been trying to get VMC to clean and renovate the Sindhu Sagar in Warasiya in the city, has now shot out a legal notice to the Municipal Commissioner demanding that the civic body carried out an immediate clean-up work in view of the Sindhi New Year Cheti Chand that will be celebrated on April 1. The community has said it will move the High Court if VMC failed to do it within the next 10 days.
The legal notice, dated March 4, states that the community has become “weary”, demanding a clean-up of the Sindhu Sagar in Warasiya for several years. The late, which is considered a religious place of worship for the community – and has no other option but to move court, should the VMC fail to clean the lake.
Pradeep Lekhrajani, an advocate and member of the community, said, “We have been petitioning the corporation for over a decade to conduct regular maintenance of the lake, so that it is clean and usable. Right now, it is stinking with garbage and a thick layer of larvae. It is not just an unpleasant sight, but also a health hazard. So far, the community members have been immersing in this unclean lake to perform our religious ceremonies, including Ganesh immersions. But now we will move court if the VMC does not pay attention.”
The community is irked by VMC not including the lake in its plan to refurbish and clean lakes across the city, for which a fat sum of money has been approved.
The petition further stated: “On April 1, 2014, the entire Sindhi community across the world will celebrate Cheti Chand that marks the birth anniversary of our God, Jhulelal Saheb. The Sindhu Sagar lake is of religious importance to us and will be used to perform the ceremony. It is requested that the VMC undertakes a cleanliness drive at the earliest to make the lake fit for use. If the lake is not spruced up, the community will be forced to file a criminal suit in the Gujarat High Court.”
When contacted, Vadodara Municipal Commissioner Manish Bharadwaj said that Sindhu Sagar does not feature on the list of lakes to be developed in Phase I of VMC’s plans to renovate lakes and ponds. “We are definitely looking at all lakes, but renovations will be done phase-wise. Right now, Sindhu Sagar is not part of Phase I, which includes Sursagar. However, it will be on the list next year for the next phase. For the convenience of all communities living in the city, the VMC extends help to ensure a smooth celebration of all religious functions and this issue will be looked into.”