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Sunday, April 11, 2021

BMC set to restore British era drinking water fountains near Metro Cinema

BMC officials said the restoration work will take about eight months. The project includes comprehensive cleaning, repair, restoration of the fountains’ heritage character, installation of two cast iron drinking fountains, landscaping, including paving the area around the fountain

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
March 12, 2021 3:23:44 am
Brihanmumbai Municipal CorporationThe family of a municipal staffer who died during the Covid-19 pandemic is running pillar to post to get the documents required to prove eligibility for Rs 50 lakh compensation under the central government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) scheme for frontline workers(Representational)

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) will take up the restoration work of the Madhavdas Laxmidas Kothari Pyaau, a British-era drinking water facility, near Metro Cinema. The civic body aims to make the twin water fountains functional by reinstalling drinking water supply.

BMC officials said the restoration work will take about eight months. The project includes comprehensive cleaning, repair, restoration of the fountains’ heritage character, installation of two cast iron drinking fountains, landscaping, including paving the area around the fountain, and creation of troughs and steps. The civic body will also install information plaques describing the fountains’ history.

The BMC, this month, has appointed an agency for the project which will cost about Rs 70 lakh.
“During the restoration, the contractor will be asked to maintain the fountains’ heritage value. Once the work is done, the contractor will carry out periodic maintenance for next three years,” said an official of the building maintenance department, which is executing the project.

Officials said the structure was built in 1913 by Mohandas Laxmidas Kothari in memory of his parents to provide drinking water to cattle and horses. Both the fountains, dysfunctional for years now, fall under the Grade-II heritage structure.
In 2010, the BMC had taken up an initiative to restore the fountains, though restoration of the drinking water facility was not part of the plan. In 1990, the civic body had constructed another fountain of drinking water in between these two symmetrical fountains, each having the height of about 5 meters. That fountain also became defunct.

The BMC has taken up the restoration work of drinking water fountains across the city with 30 existing in South Mumbai. In 2018, the civic body had restored the Kothari Pyaau opposite the General Post Office in the Fort area. Last year, the BMC appointed an agency to restore three pyaau in Byculla Zoo.

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