The BMC is all set to take over the 200-year-old Bandra talao from its civic garden cell in order to maintain its upkeep.
Situated near Bandra station, the talao is spread over an area of 7.5 acres and is a Grade 2 heritage structure. The talao was recently named as Swami Vivekananda lake. However, earlier it was referred to as Lotus Tank.
On June 29, FPJ had reported that due to non-maintenance the water body was lying in a state of neglect and was covered with filth. Local residents then took up a ‘cleaning the lake’ drive and cleared the place of garbage.
In 2019, the BMC had proposed to beautify the lake premises and transform it into a potential tourist spot. While renovation work was carried out in a phased manner by the civic garden cell, they claim that maintain has to be carried out by the BMC.
“We beautified the talao, created pathways and also installed aerators inside the water body. The renovation was completed one year ago. Since then, the talao has been lying in a state of neglect,” said an official of the garden cell.
Local Congress corporator Asif Zakaria, who has been raising this issue at various BMC committee meetings and has dashed out several letters to the authorities, paid a visit to the talao on Wednesday, along with civic officials.
“The BMC is taking over the lake, after which the ward office will appoint a new agency to carry out its maintenance and security,” Zakaria told FPJ on Thursday. He added that the new contractor will have to ensure that activity at the lake is increase.
“As the talao was lying in a poor state for so many years, anti-social elements used to visit the place more often. I am coordinating with multiple citizens’ groups so that more people can visit this area and keep it vibrant. This would eventually drive away the antisocial elements,” said Zakaria.
An official of the local ward office said that the main priority will be to increase security.
“In the next 15-20 days a new contractor will be appointed who will clean the entire water body. A pollution check will be carried out regularly and water aerators will be used to remove algae,” said the official.