Citizens’ representative says 135-yr-old tank seems to be in excellent condition
Members of the expert committee examine the reservoir on Thursday morning
- A citizen’s representative said that the parts of the reservoir were in great shape
- BMC, however, has kept mum on the matter
- The committee will look at other parts of the reservoir soon
After more than a month, the committee that was formed to offer suggestions regarding the feasibility of reconstructing the Malabar Hill reservoir was finally able to visit the site on Thursday morning. A citizen’s representative said that the parts of the 135-year-old reservoir examined by the team were in great shape. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), however, has kept mum on the matter. The committee will look at other parts of the reservoir soon.
The BMC had decided to construct an additional tank and repair the old reservoir on Malabar Hill, but residents opposed this plan as it entailed the removal of 389 trees at Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens, popularly known as Hanging Gardens. In light of demands from residents and the local MLA, the BMC formed a committee on November 8 comprising Deputy Commissioner (Special Engineering) Chakradhar Kandalkar; IIT professors R S Jangid, Jyoti Prakash and Dasaka Murthy; and citizens’ representatives Dr Vasudev Nori and Alpa Seth, who are engineers, and architect Rahul Kadri.
Committee’s initial observations
The expert committee inspected reservoir numbers 2A and 2B on Thursday between 8 am and 10 am. It is expected to review the current proposal and suggest the appropriate course of action. Seth, the citizens' representative, said, “The reservoir is in excellent condition. We are satisfied with the maintenance taken by the BMC. The structure is 135 years old and a heritage precinct. It may require some functional repair but no need for reconstruction. As far as our visit, we do not think there is any need for tests for the structural stability of 2A and 2B as they seem to be in fine condition.” Seth added that they will assess the other parts, 1A and 1B, after around 10 days.
A BMC official said, “The first phase of the visit of the expert committee was completed on Thursday and it is under consideration to inspect the rest of the reservoir in the coming days.” Deputy Commissioner Kandalkar didn’t respond to mid-day’s calls and messages while the IIT professors weren't available for comment. Another civic official said, “The reservoir compartment was completely emptied and refilled for an internal inspection of the reservoir. The water supply was cut to some of the parts of the city while some areas received low-pressure water. Citizens may receive muddy water for one day after resuming the supply.”
The committee will evaluate the suggestions and submit its final report by January 15. The original submission date was December 1. But not a single meeting was held in one month and so after the letter from guardian minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha on November 28, civic chief I S Chahal extended the deadline by 45 days.