Two important lakes of the cityKatraj and Pashanare all set to undergo major beautification. The Rs 49.32-crore project sanctioned under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) aims at developing Pashan Lake into a Bird and Environment Centre and Katraj Lake a Location of Historic Importance.
Pashan lake is spread over 146 acres and the Rs 16.91 crore project for the lake will include works such as- creation of an island inside the lake,embankment and plantation on the banks,fencing,formation of marshy areas,development of an environment and education centre,construction of parking facilities,walkway and a bird watching hideout.
The formation of a 17 acre island is already over. While 7 acres of the island is above the water,the rest 10 acres are submerged. We are targeting local as well as migratory birds and the project has been planned to avoid human interference with the birds coming on the lake, said Awanish Kumar,chief engineer,Naik environment Research Institute Limited (NERIL),project management consultants to the PMC.
With 100 per cent deposits removed from the Katraj Lake and 90 per cent of de-siltation work over at the Pashan Lake,the Lakes and Rivers Beautification Project is all set to gain momentum. Pashan Lake is a major location for migratory as well as local bird species and the percentage of birds visiting the lake dropped after the construction of the Mumbai-Pune highway due to increased human interference. The project aims at developing Pashan lake as a Bird and Environment Centre where the landscape will be developed to boost the depleting percentage of migratory birds, said an engineer of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC). Katraj Lake on the other hand is a lake with historical significance as it was created by the Peshwas. We plan to develop the upper Katraj Lake into a site of Historic Importance,he further added,
While over 350 indigenous species of trees have been planted on the island,creation of 500 metres of marshy land is scheduled to start by February 2010 and finish by May 2010. Works such as construction of the 1250- metre-long walkway,700-metre-long embankment along with plantation of 1200 trees,fencing,environmental interpretation centre with displays and seating arrangements,toilets and parking facilities is scheduled to be completed by June 2011. We are developing the site primarily for birds and though open for all,visitors entry will be restricted only till the walkway and the bird hideouts and no human interference will be permitted beyond these points, said Chandana Ghosh Biswas,project manager,NERIL.
Rs 17.95 crores have been sanctioned for the beautification of Katraj lake and we are planning to construct a 2.5 km long walkway along the circumference of the lake. Unlike Pashan lake,the interpretation centre at Katraj lake will showcase the historical information about the lake and showcase films about the historic water supply system developed by Peshwas. Plantation,boating are some of the additional concepts that we are working on and we are creating options for local villagers who are currently using the lake for bathing,washing clothes and immersing Ganesh idols and so on, said NERILs Kumar.