A small lake located in Aarey Milk Colony and now used as a dump will be cleaned up and turned into a public recreation spot, Aarey authorities have said.
The 3.5-acre water body, located near the road near Dairy Unit 25, is full of construction debris, besides flowers and other puja offerings. On Saturday morning, residents of housing colonies in the vicinity and volunteers from non-governmental organisations such as Vanashakti and Aarey Conservation Group (ACG) will clean the water body.
“A couple of months ago, we were walking through Aarey and spotted this water body that had a large amount of non-degradable trash thrown into it. We decided to meet Aarey officials and brought them to the site. After getting their permission, we chalked out a plan to clear all debris dumped in and around the lake,” said Stalin Dayanand, project director, Vanashakti.
He said the lake is situated close to the main road, but trees hide it from public view. “The place is an ideal setting for Mumbaiites to come down for activities such as painting, reading or even picnics. It also has an excellent view of a small hillock,” he said.
Aarey has another lake that has boating facilities. The lake proposed to be rejuvenated is located between the popular picnic spot and Dairy Unit 25, said Aarey colony authorities.
The volunteers will plant saplings around the lake and also release fingerlings (young fish) into it on Saturday. “This is a chance for Mumbaiites to come together and protect the water body. It has been used to dump bottles and foam plates. If it is not saved now, the lake will die,” said Biju Augustein, Aarey resident.
Gajanan Raut, chief executive officer, Aarey Colony, said, “For the last six years, this natural water body has been treated very badly by outsiders. After the cleanup drive, we have decided to beef up security in the area with two security guards at the lake all the time.”