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Monday, Dec 09, 2019

People’s power revives Navi Mumbai pond

The PCMC cleanliness squad has joined residents in collecting garbage and debris collected by residents for the past few weeks now

mumbai Updated: Jan 18, 2019 00:56 IST
Padmja Sinha
Padmja Sinha
Hindustan Times
The lake at Sector at 35 in Kharghar, which has turned into a dump yard, is slowly being revived.
The lake at Sector at 35 in Kharghar, which has turned into a dump yard, is slowly being revived.(Bachchan Kumar/Hindustan Times)
         

Constant efforts from dedicated residents’ groups to maintain cleanliness of the pond in Sector 35 in Kharghar has yield positive result. As a result of increased cleanliness, the lost bio-diversity of the pond is back in view.

The residents’ group, which has dedicated two hours of their time every day, has received support from the Panvel City Municipal Corporation (PCMC) now.

The PCMC cleanliness squad has joined residents in collecting garbage and debris collected by residents for the past few weeks now.

Aru Bhagat, health officer, PCMC, said, “We are helping residents in picking up the collected trash to keep the surroundings clean. The locals are doing their bit and we want to support them in the cause.”

With the Kharghar pond clean now, residents say that birds like myna and breasted munia are seen in the area again. The resident group claimed that for the very first time, they also spotted the stork bird at the pond.

The volunteers also generate an awareness drive among those visiting the pond to keep the area clean.

Dharmendra Kar, 44, one of the members of the group, said, “Most of the waste dumped in the pond is utilised. We had found some kalash after Chhath Puja in the pond. It is now being used for watering the plants. We fish out flowers and use them as bio-manure.”

Kar plants saplings in the peripheral area of the pond to beautify the place.

“We make sure that the periphery of the pond is clean. By doing so, we are now witnessing a number of birds in the area which was not seen since years. PCMC too, has helped us in maintaining cleanliness of the area,” Kar further said.

Nature lovers who visit the area are happy with the positive efforts taken by the civic body and the residents.

Sudhir Patel, 48, has been working to restore flora and fauna for the last many months.

He said, “We have been seeing the pond for years. It was converted into a dumping site. The numerous complaints to officials have only fallen on deaf ears. So we thought of a cleanliness drive to bring back the lost glory of the pond. Our efforts paid off and now even civic body is with us.”

Environmentalist Abba Vithal Ranawade said, “It is a positive sign that more and more birds are coming to the pond. Since last few year the pond was reduced to a dumping site. However, thanks to the efforts of dedicated residents that it has been brought into life again. If the cleanliness is maintained in the periphery area more and more birds will definitely make the pond their home.”

Some six months back residents from sector 35 formed a voluntary group ‘Lake Action group’ to clean the pond and they even collected two tempos of waste.

Panvel City Municipal Corporation (PCMC) then helped the volunteers with logistic facility by providing JCB, compactor and dumping the waste to a proper place.