July 14, 2021 10:08:54 pm
Following the month-long clean-up drive by citizens at Bandra Talao in the western suburbs, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has decided to maintain the heritage structure.
The civic body’s H-west ward, through the garden department, has appointed a caretaker for security and labourers for sweeping, cleaning, watering the plants and maintenance of the Talao premises. The civic body has also floated tenders for the appointment of a contractor to clean the water body of garbage, and other floating materials.
Situated near Bandra station, the water body, wedged between the station road and arterial SV road, is spread over 7.5 acres and is a Grade-2 heritage structure. The Talao was recently named Swami Vivekananda Lake but is called Bandra Talao by locals. However, earlier it was referred to as Lotus Tank.
Tired of the poor state of the Talao, last month, people living around the lake had started to gather on the premises every Sunday morning to clean up the water body. Around 50kg of garbage and debris, which included empty bottles of alcohol, plastic, dead fish found floating in the water and strewn around the lake, was cleared.
Between 2016 and 2019, the civic body had carried out several beautification works along the Talao; it created pathways, installed aerators inside the water body among other things. BMC had also taken up revamp of the lake in phases. However, once the garden department finished the revamp, the maintenance of the Talao was neglected and no contractor was appointed.
Bandra corporator Asif Zakaria said that following several complaints from residents, the issue was discussed at the civic ward committee meeting earlier this month. “The ward office, through its garden department staff and labourers, is maintaining the Talao now. There are aerators (which maintain oxygen levels) installed in the water body, but two of them are defunct. BMC will have to introduce a new policy/circular that will deal with the maintenance of such water bodies,” said the Congress leader.
In 2019, the BMC had proposed to beautify the lake premises and transform it into a potential tourist spot. However, the project never took off.
Earlier this month, Zakaria submitted a proposal to state tourism minister Aaditya Thackeray, municipal commissioner IS Chahal and the local ward office to transform the Talao premises into a water sports hub for activities such as kayaking and boating, and a tourist spot.
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