After uproar over Banganga damage, BMC chief says water body to be de-silted manually | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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After uproar over Banganga damage, BMC chief says water body to be de-silted manually

BySurabhi Gorebal
Jun 28, 2024 08:37 AM IST

BMC has issued a showcause notice to the contractor Savani Heritage Conservation Private Limited, commissioned to carry out the multi-phase restoration project

Mumbai: After he visited the Banganga Tank, in Malabar Hill, on Thursday, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) administrator and commissioner Bhushan Gagrani said the civic body will comply by the rules set by the archaeology department to complete the next phase of work at the eleventh century heritage site. “Due respect will given while carrying out all the work around the premises of Banganga and the temples. The remaining silt will be removed manually,” said Gagrani.

BMC Commissioner Bhushan Gagrani visited the Banganga Tank on Thursday. (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)
BMC Commissioner Bhushan Gagrani visited the Banganga Tank on Thursday. (Bhushan Koyande/HT Photo)

HT was the first to report about a BMC-appointed contractor running an excavator on the steps while desilting the tank, in a story titled ‘Banganga’s heritage steps damaged’ on June 25.

After the incident came to light, BMC issued a showcause notice to the contractor Savani Heritage Conservation Private Limited, commissioned to carry out the multi-phase restoration project. Subsequently, the Malabar Hill police registered an FIR against the contractor, the supervisor and the operator of the excavator who took the vehicle close to the steps damaging it, following a complaint by Manoj Jejurkar, assistant engineer, D Ward.

Meanwhile, the civic body restored the damaged steps the same day. BMC has already removed illegal buildings in the vicinity and restored structures of heritage value around Banganga.

On Thursday, Badlapur resident Anand Kulkarni who was visiting the tank for pind daan (a Hindu ritual performed to pay homage and offer prayers to ancestors) said, “After Nashik, this is the next sacred place people prefer to visit. I cannot imagine how someone destroyed the place with such recklessness. We request the civic body to respect and protect such heritage places. One needs to be very mindful while carrying out development works here.”

Vimal Pawar, a local resident, said while the civic body got its act together soon after the damage to the steps was revealed, there are many more issues that have gone unattended. “There is no place here for women to change their clothes after they take a dip in the tank. Most women just change in public view out of no choice,” she said.

Pawar also pointed out that people often slip on the algae formed on the steps. “Many elderly people visit this site as well. One fears that they may suffer severe injuries if no one pays attention to corrects these issues,” she added.

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