Following instructions from Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray, Mayor Shraddha Jadhav revived a three-year-old proposal to revamp Dhobi Ghat.
In fact, she brought it up as “urgent work” in the agenda of the civic standing committee meeting to be held on Friday.
Jadhav visited Dhobi Ghat on Wednesday, a day after receiving Thackeray’s instructions, and then placed the proposal before the civic standing committee to sanction the expenditure amount of Rs 2.4 crore.
“Saheb has strictly instructed me that the Dhobi Ghat should be in the city at any cost and it should be in good condition,” the mayor told Hindustan Times.
“We will clear the proposal in Friday’s meeting and work will be completed in the next 18 months,” said Rahul Shewale, chairman of the civic standing committee.
The proposal was in cold storage because the civic administration was not keen to start the work. “The municipal body had made a provision of Rs 3 crore for the restoration of Dhobi Ghat around three years ago. But the money provision lapsed because the administration did not start the work,” said local BJP corporator Chandrakant Pugaonkar.
Every day more than 6,000 washermen wash clothes at the 731 enclosures at Dhobi Ghat.
“The revamp will include repairing the washing stones, the roof and fixing a chimney for ventilation, and setting up security at the entrance,” said a civic official, on the condition of anonymity.
“We will also carry out minor repairs on the compound wall and make it aesthetically appealing. Presently, the washermen heat water on open fire using wood. We will set up either a gas or solar power system to heat the water,” he added.
The plan also includes a viewing gallery on Mahalaxmi bridge to accommodate 100 to 150 tourists.