Mumbai: Amid stiff opposition from local residents over axing of hundreds of trees in the Hanging Gardens to pave way for reconstructing a British-era reservoir, the BMC on Tuesday decided to set up a committee of experts, which will study the technical aspects and suggest the future course of action. The committee – which comprises three professors from the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, two representatives of the local residents and BMC engineers – is expected to submit the study report within a month.
Meeting between Lodha and Chahal
A meeting was held between Mumbai suburban guardian minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha, civic administrator Iqbal Singh Chahal and local residents at the BMC headquarters.
The experts and citizens have insisted on repairing the existing reservoir instead of constructing a new one. “The committee is in the process of being formed. The experts and engineers will study the technical aspects and suggest if there is a need to reconstruct the reservoir. It will also guide us on the size of the additional tank. Hopefully, we will be able to decide about the fate of this project by December,” said a senior civic official.
The BMC had announced plans to reconstruct the reservoir, which is located beneath the Hanging Gardens, at a whopping cost of Rs698.5 crore. However, 389 trees on the earmarked plot needed to be hacked for the project. The proposal met with vehement opposition from the local residents who urged the municipality to go for repairs instead of reconstruction. Their appeal was backed by three civil engineers who sent an open letter to the civic authorities. Mumbai city guardian minister Deepak Kesarkar had also assured the residents that the project will be re-audited.