Bird-watchers get a nest in Pune that offers best view
A nature observatory-cum-science centre, initiated by Parisar Sudharana Samiti, part of the Save Model Colony Lake Project, is currently in the final stages of completion.
The observatory that is shaped in the form of a bird taking flight is located in Model colony. Initiated by the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), the project will be opened to the public during the Independence week. Residents will be able to enjoy the bio-diversity present in abundance around Lakali lake.
“One can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the area surrounding Lakaki lake,” said Shyamala Desai, trustee of the Samiti.
We had initially thought of creating a park in the given space, but considering parking woes, we decided on coming up with the observatory-cum-science centre with the help of architect Narendra Dengle, stated Desai.
“The residents of Model colony have been struggling with the lake’s conservation. Therefore the idea of building a surrounding walkway, with least disturbance to the environment and ecology made sense. The concept behind this schematic sketch of the nature reserve, was done by landscape architect Ravindra Bhan,” said architect Narendra Dengle.
“The idea was to create niches and crevices, for water retention, so reeds would grow to support the bird habitat. One sees the Model colony lake not as an exclusive facility for residents, but as a unique opportunity for the PMC and citizens to demonstrate how today’s urban life, can coexist with migratory birds’ habitat, and most importantly, how to make ecologically sustainable gestures in creating public spaces in our cities,” said Dengle.
“The Nature Lab designed by us is a simple structure in steel, that nestles between the trees on a small plot of land. It is meant to assist children and nature lovers study marine life and the bird habitat with the use of sensors and probes inserted in the water. Data will be made available on screens installed within the lab, as found suitable by the experts. Additionally some telescopes may also be used for closer observation,” Dengle explained.
The form of the structure is inspired by the flight and landing of the birds, overlooking the central core of the lake. The structure is meant to be least aggressive in character, symbolic of its natural inhabitants. The structure, the deck and the roof are all is in steel, walls in Siporex blocks as a slim building with glass facing the north side onto the lake. A small mezzanine is proposed for a view of the lake and the sky guided by scientists and experts. An observation deck with telescope at the elevated level would facilitate bird watching.
Though this concept design has been in discussion for more than 15 years, PMC through the efforts of member of legislative assembly (MLA) Anil Bhosale sanctioned Rs 1 crore in 2015 but the work began only in October 2018. “It has taken almost 1.5 years to get the plan sanctioned and tendered and hopefully this year it should open as designated on or around August 15,” said Desai.