Mumbai: 'Facing Locals' Wrath,' Says Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha; Seeks CM Shinde's Help On Malabar Reservoir Issue

Mumbai: 'Facing Locals' Wrath,' Says Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha; Seeks CM Shinde's Help On Malabar Reservoir Issue

Mangal Prabhat Lodha, who is also a local MLA, in his letter to the chief minister said, "Most of the members have recommended repairing the reservoir instead of any reconstruction. However, the civic authorities are adamant about taking any decision."

SHEFALI PARAB-PANDITUpdated: Tuesday, March 12, 2024, 08:49 AM IST
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Mumbai: 'Facing Locals' Wrath,' Says Minister Mangal Prabhat Lodha; Seeks CM Shinde's Help On Malabar Reservoir Issue | File photo

Mumbai: The two contradictory reports submitted by the eight members of the expert panel have created more controversies and confusion about the reconstruction proposal of Malabar Hill Reservoir (MHR). So, the guardian minister (suburbs) Mangal Prabhat Lodha has requested the chief minister Eknath Shinde to direct the civic authorities to resolve the issue.

To decide the fate of MHR, the BMC appointed an expert committee of architects, structural engineers, local citizens' representatives, and four professors of the Indian Instutute of Technology, Bombay (IIT - B) in November 2023. However, after four months, the BMC received two different reports from the members, creating more confusion.

Lodha Seeks CM's Help In Resolving Issue

Lodha, who is also a local MLA, in his letter to the chief minister said, "Most of the members have recommended repairing the reservoir instead of any reconstruction. However, the civic authorities are adamant about taking any decision." In his letter to the municipal commissioner Iqbal Singh Chahal, Lodha complained that he has to face the wrath of local citizens of Malabar Hill and environmentalists. He has asked the civic chief to arrange a joint meeting for a discussion on the MHR with the concerned officials at which he, too, will be present along with the two local citizens.

Contradictory Reports From Experts

The report filed by three IIT professors recommended constructing a new tank for the purpose of emptying the existing tank for repairs or reconstruction of the reservoir. While the earlier report filed by four members of the expert committee had said that the condition of the existing tanks is good, and they don’t require major structural repairs for at least the next 15 years. To take a final call on these contrasting reports, the BMC has decided to consult a water expert.

The 135-year-old reservoir under the Hanging Gardens supplies 147 million litres of water per day to south Mumbai. Its reconstruction and augmentation proposal was approved in February 2022 at an estimated cost of Rs698 crore. Locals were up in arms against the project as it required to hack 389 trees.

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