After a two-year wait, the plan to revive Bandra Talao has finally inched forward.
On Tuesday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) allowed a committed group of citizens to invite experts to test the water quality of the tank located near the Bandra (West) station.
“The fundamental purpose of this inspection is to find the sources of pollution,” said
architect P.K. Das, who is part of the Mumbai Waterfronts Centre.
Das, along with president of the Bandra West Trust Darryl D’monte, president of Bandra Bandstand Residents’ Trust Arup Sarvadhikari and local residents, has been fighting to save the talao.
The water of the talao, which has a natural spring, is currently green due to toxic and has garbage floating along its periphery. Ten years ago, it was a popular boating destination but now the stench is hard to bear.
“We will also be looking into the issue of garbage dumping by shop keepers in the area,” said Das, adding that they suspect that the sewage outlets are polluting the water.
As part of the preliminary study, Furgo Survey (India) Pvt Ltd, an agency specialising in marine surveys, geo-technical investigation and geoscience services, will inspect the
quality of the tank’s water later this week.
The water quality report is expected to help the BMC take a call on whether the tank needs to be drained out or just cleaned.
Beautician Nayana Ghosalkar (63), who grew up in a flat opposite the talao, recalled it being full of lotus flowers in the 1950s.
“People used to go fishing there. Our flat was opposite the talao, but we never had any mosquito problem.”
The two phase beautification plan drawn up by residents and local politicians, including Congress Corporator Asif Zakaria, aims at reviving the talao as an “oasis in the middle of the concrete jungle”.
While the first phase of the project will focus on cleaning the talao, the second phase includes a beautification project complete with landscaping and fountain.