27-lakh plan: Polluted Vithalwadi lake near Thane to be maintained by contractor

Published on Aug 17, 2019 12:35 AM IST
HT Image
HT Image
ByAnkita G Menon, Kalyan

Every year, Kalyan-Dombivli Municipal Corporation (KDMC) cleans the lake in Vithalwadi. But, often is soon back to being filthy as residents use the water body as a dumping ground.

Unable to maintain it themselves, KDMC has appointed a contractor for the regular cleaning and maintenance of the lake.

The residents, who had to bear the stench every day, are happy with the civic body’s move. For the past two years, they have seen the destruction of the old lake.

KDMC commissioner Govind Bodke said, “We have appointed a contractor who will ensure the lake is maintained and cleaned regularly. We will pay 27 lakh to the contractor for three years.”

The contractor has to ensure no one dumps garbage in the lake.

“The lake is connected to the Ulhas river, the banks of which has been encroachment upon. Many use the lake area as a dumping ground. Last month, the lake overflowed after the Barvi dam was opened. The lake is cleaned before monsoon every year. Earlier, it was used for immersion,” said Vasant Bhongade, ward officer, KDMC.

The beautified lake was inaugurated in August 2015. The civic body spent 53 lakh to beautify the lake.

The lake has a pathway on both sides and a fountain with attractive lighting.

Within a few months of the inauguration, the fountain and lights stopped working. Gradually, pollution levels started increasing as filth and garbage were dumped into it.

“Sometimes, we get a strong stench from the lake. Because of lack of maintenance, many dump garbage into the lake. The water body is filled with weeds, plastic and garbage,” said Harshal Diwan, 28, resident of Vithalwadi.

Within a few months, the lake started getting polluted. Although immersion in the lake has stopped, it is cleaned every year before the festival.

“After immersions were stopped, pollution has reduced,” said Darshan Dhurke, 35, resident of Vithalwadi.

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