Mumbai: The dust is likely to settle on the contentious issue revolving around the reconstruction of a British-era reservoir located beneath the Hanging Gardens at Malabar Hill. The eight-member committee of technical experts will submit its report by next month, ascertaining whether the reservoir will be reconstructed from scratch or if repairs are enough. Meanwhile, the BMC is in the process of publishing a public notice to invite suggestions from the citizens. The experts will have to verify the suggestions on a merit-based order in 15 days after the public notice gets published.
A senior civic official said, “The experts panel will be studying the issue and then opine on any actionable proposal received from other experts, local residents or public representatives. Also, we will take suggestions from IIT-Bombay for any other plan. The report is expected to put an end to the controversy revolving around reconstruction or repair.”
BMC Forms Committee to Assess Feasibility of Reservoir Repair without Disrupting Water Supply
As per a notice issued by the BMC's water supply department last week, the grouping includes Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay professors Ashok Goyal, R S Jangid, Jothi Prakash and Dasaka Murthy, architect Rahul Kadri, two civil engineers Dr Vasudev Nori and A Seth who are also local representatives, and Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Special Engineering) Chakradhar Kandalkar. Their task is to find out if the existing reservoir can be repaired without constructing an alternative tank and without affecting the water supply. The committee will also have to find out whether phase-wise reconstruction is feasible without disrupting water supply to citizens.
The committee was set up following vehement opposition from locals as the project required closure of the Hanging Gardens and axing of 389 full-grown trees. In May 2022, the BMC had awarded a contract to M/s Skyway Infraprojects Pvt Ltd for reconstructing the reservoir.
The municipality intends to increase the reservoir's capacity from 147.78 million litres to 191 million litres to augment the water supply to south Mumbai.