Mumbai: BMC acts on heritage body's call to clean up Bandra talao

After this paper reports on heritage panel's advice to BMC to clean Bandra talao before beautifying it, civic body carries out Rs 50-lakh desilting project

The civic body's desilting work at the Bandra talao cost about Rs 50 lakh and took two weeks to complete.
The civic body's desilting work at the Bandra talao cost about Rs 50 lakh and took two weeks to complete.

Two weeks after mid-day highlighted the heritage committee's concern that Bandra talao needed a clean-up more than a grand beautification project, the BMC has acted on the advice and removed a whopping 2,500 tonnes of silt from the lake.

After mid-day's report, local MLA Ashish Shelar had also visited the lake to take stock of the work that was taking place at the spot. As many as 180 truckloads of silt were cleaned out of the centuries-old talao.

Also read - Mumbai: Forget revamp, just clean Bandra talao, says heritage body

See-through plans
The lake had only recently undergone a revamp, when a pedestrian pathway was built around it. On June 14, mid-day had reported that the BMC had approached the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) with a proposal for a Rs 8.81-crore beautification project, including the construction of a boundary wall around the lake, as well as a glass tunnel to give visitors an underwater view.

Also read: BMC plans to clean Bandra and Sion lakes, Morya and Shivaji Talao

However, any substantial structural changes require the approval of the MHCC, since the lake is a grade II heritage site. The MHCC directed the civic body to scale down the grand plans and instead focus on desilting the lake and preventing any leaks from sewage and storm water drainage lines.

BMC says
Sharad Ugade, assistant municipal commissioner of H-west ward, said, "We have removed about 2,500 tonnes of silt. This has also helped the volume of water to increase by almost 5%. During this exercise, nets were used to protect the aquatic life in the lake, thus no fish were hurt in the process." The desilting work cost about Rs 50 lakh and took two weeks to complete, said officials. They added that no leakages were found that could pollute the lake. After this, the BMC will also carry out an oxygenation process to increase the oxygen level for the regeneration of the aquatic ecology.

Meanwhile, the BMC is preparing a revised proposal for the lake's makeover—while the underwater tunnel has been scrapped, officials are still keen on building a glass-floored walkway that will connect the four ends of the lake, from where visitors can look down into the water. The boundary wall has also been scrapped, so passers-by will continue to have an unobstructed view of the talao.

2,500 Tonnes of silt removed from Bandra talao

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