Banganga Renovation: Relief for Walkeshwar residents
mid-day impact: Following this paper's report that the tank and surroundings were in shambles, the civic body begins repair work
BMC has finally started beautification work around Banganga tank after months of inaction. Almost two weeks after mid-day reported about the hassle for locals due to dug-up patches and debris, civic authorities said the road leading to the tank would be levelled and work on it has already started. On June 6, mid-day had reported (Banganga revamp has turned our area into a dump: Locals) that the beautification work, which started in January this year, has turned the area into a dump-yard of debris. Locals were worried that they would have to travel through muck during the rains. They have already been suffering due to the dust that emanates from the debris. The BMC had initially planned a facelift of the peripheral area and then a renovation of the tank, but all of it remains incomplete.
Locals had also complained that senior citizens did not have an alternate route to reach the Banganga periphery, as it was difficult for them to take the stairs leading to the area. The civic body had then said that underground utilities were leading to the delay, and once that issue was fixed, the road would be done up.The BMC officials had further said that after receiving an approval from the Heritage Committee, a sample patch of Basalt stone had been prepared in the periphery. But following complaints from locals it was decided that only a part of the road would be redone using Basalt.
While the decision came in late, work was put on hold for months and there was confusion among the residents as well. However, the BMC spokesperson said that out of the three lanes, one would be partially redone using Basalt and for the others, Asphalt and Whitetopping would be used. However, residents said that work on the road was progressing at snail's pace due to the intermittent rains the city was receiving.
Mahesh Kudalkar, a local, said, "They have removed all the material that had been dumped around the heritage site. The BMC contractor has started work on placing the paver blocks at the entrance of the tank. But the work cannot be fast-tracked as monsoon is approaching." "The portions of the road that had been dug up will be reinstated and levelled. Further, all the lanes surrounding Banganga Tank lane will be developed as per the plan after monsoon," said the BMC spokesperson. Requesting anonymity, a civic official of D ward, said, "As a temporary measure, we have placed paver blocks on the road for the convenience of pedestrians. Two days back vehicles were also seen plying on it."
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