Efforts to beautify Banganga mustn't tank

Published: Jun 10, 2019, 06:24 IST | mid-day correspondent

At the outset, it is shocking that Banganga has been allowed to deteriorate in this way. For years now, there have been reports about the breakage around its boundary

Efforts to beautify Banganga mustn't tank

A familiar tug of war over the Banganga Tank has plenty of responses, but the common sentiment is that the tank has always been in the news for the wrong reasons. From repair work and sparring by politicians to the abysmal upkeep of a piece of heritage, the structure in Walkeshwar seems to be mired in perennial and unnecessary controversy.

In a recent front-page report, the residents and civic authorities seem to be at war again over the beautification and repairs to this tank. At the outset, it is shocking that Banganga has been allowed to deteriorate in this way. For years now, there have been reports about the breakage around its boundary.

With the difficulty in reaching the stairs to actually go to the tank and the grave and very real danger of slipping and breaking a limb while trying to access the Banganga — the problems and controversies are endless. In 2016, this paper carried a report about half-finished work on the Banganga stairs. Stones from this incomplete work were dumped in the water, posing a danger for those who used to dive into the tank.

It is shocking that roadblocks to repairs have recurred. Or, perhaps, not so shocking given the record. Time to bring the curtains down on the sideshow that happens every time work on the tank takes off. Warring factions need to call a truce, stop dilly-dallying, move with concerted will and purpose, clean up the Banganga and most importantly, make high-quality repairs with accessibility as key.

A sacred tank with so much history behind it, which is so important to Mumbai, needs to be extricated from the mire of bungling, ego clashes, lack of clarity and vision that seem to hamper its work. It may be time for special intervention from the Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis.

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