Updated: August 18, 2021 7:00:42 pm
Four heritage pyaus (drinking water fountains) inside Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo, also known as Rani Baug, are set to be revived by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). A Koi fish pond will also be constructed.
Over a year after it was first planned, the BMC has submitted the restoration plan, worth Rs 2.21 crore, for the standing committee’s approval.
The four pyaus include two named after Ardeshir Dadysett Pyau and two others — the Khimji Mulji Randeria Pyau and Seth Samaldas Nasidas Pyau — that were constructed between 1903 and 1933. The fountains, categorised as Grade 3 heritage structures, were donated by Ardeshir Dadabhoy, Khimji Mulji Randeria and Seth Samaldas Nasidas.
The BMC had floated a tender last year to repair the pyaus and construct the pond. The plan also includes comprehensive maintenance of the pyaus and the pond for three years.
The two Ardeshir Dadysett pyaus and the Khimji Mulji Randeria Pyau will be restored to their old glory and public spaces will be created around them so visitors can sit and drink water from the fountains.
The lion-headed Nasidas Pyau will be relocated near Veermata Jijabai’s statue where the Koi fish pond will be constructed.
Koi is a decorative and colourful species of fish. In Japan, the breed symbolises prosperity, success and wealth. The fishes are of orange, yellow and blue and live 25 to 30 years.
The restoration plan involves cleaning, repairing and dressing of stone masonry (Malad or Porbandar stones) and plaques, excavation of the area around, relaying it with cobblestones, adding filtration systems to provide potable water to visitors, setting up information plaques with QR codes and ensuring uniform design.
Pyaus were once a distinctive feature across the public spaces in Mumbai. However, the British-era drinking fountains are lying dilapidated and defunct. The BMC’s heritage cell has proposed reviving around 30 pyaus across the city.
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