The suburban district collector’s office has been working on identifying lakes and reservoirs in suburbs that can be restored and used as an alternate water source for the future.
Over the last three years, 102 water bodies in the suburbs have been identified but most of these are full of debris and have encroachment around them. After mapping and photographing the city, among the few lakes identified, 11 are in Manori, nine in Kandivli, four in Malad, seven in pahaadi Goregaon and four in Bandra.
Vishwas Patil, suburban collector said: “We have identified these lakes so that they can be cleaned and restored before the coming monsoons. Water collected in these lakes can be used for non-potable purpose.”
The Development Planning Authority (DPA), under the collector, has begun restoration work on eight lakes: Ashish Cinema Talao in Chembur, Lotus Talao in Marve Road, Shantaram Talao in Malad (E), Shivaji Talao in Bhandup (W), Charai Talao in Chembur, Eksaar Talao in Borivli (W), Ghatla Talao in Trombay and Ganesh Visarja Talao in Mulund. The cost of restoring one lake is between Rs 50-80 lakh.
Citizen groups and residents have welcomed the idea. “Once a lake in our neighborhood is restored, we will help the authorities to maintain it,” said Nandini Singh, a Mulund resident.
More than 75 per cent of water is used for non-potable purposes. Water from these lakes will help minimise the use of fresh water for non-potable purpose.
One of the biggest lakes in the city with an area of more than one acre is near Juhu and falls under the Airport Authority of India (AAI). A letter from the collector’s office has been sent to AAI seeking a No-Objection Certificate for its restoration.
Patil said they were talking with Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya for the BMC’s help so that the work could be completed before monsoon.
In the first phase of restoration, the lakes will undergo cleaning, widening and de-silting.