High time we made Banganga Tank safe
Stop the political point-scoring and meaningless committees to save or give a facelift to Banganga. We need a serious and effective attempt to save this sacred water body and all the people who visit it
The city's historical Banganga Tank claimed yet another victim on Monday. The Walkeshwar tank, part of Mumbai's heritage, saw thousands of devotees on this day, which marked pitru paksha, a day for honouring departed souls. A report in this paper said that the victim, a Matunga teen, had arrived with his aunt, but after she finished her work at Banganga, she could not spot him. A frantic search began and a few local swimmers dived into the water, after which his body was fished out of the tank.
The shocking death throws light on all the mishaps and tragedies that have occurred at this tank. For years now, reams have been written about Banganga needing a complete facelift. The tank needs to have security barriers on the top of the steps. The steps themselves need repairs; they are broken in parts, dirty, slippery and a danger to the people who flock to this stunning but ill-maintained piece of heritage.
Not everybody should be allowed to access the Banganga water tank. Only strong swimmers with some kind of identification card should be able to access these waters. It may be too much to expect a lifeguard to be stationed there, but it would be helpful if the local MLA steps in to see what could be done.
The tank is located at the end of a maze of little lanes, and in case of any kind of accident, an ambulance may take too much time to arrive, since it is difficult to access. Alternative arrangements must be made on site, especially on religious occasions, when we see a large influx of visitors. The shocking tragedy needs to be the ultimate wake-up call for Banganga. Stop the political point-scoring and meaningless committees to save or give a facelift to Banganga. We need a serious and effective attempt to save this sacred water body and all the people who visit it.
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