Futala Lake: From fame to shame

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Sep 2018 09:47:15


By Rajendra Diwe,

God, Goodness of NGOs and Gabbar Singh of NMC have failed to improve the attitude of citizens of Nagpur and the ‘so called’ only Chowpaty of city has become as dirty as the other chowpaties in other cities like those of Mumbai. Futala Lake or Telangkhedi Lake, the famous water body of city that has been existed for last 200 years has become a monument of shame because of apathy of civic body. One could easily define the journey of Futala lake in last 15 years as ‘from cattle washing to pile of garbage created by ‘sophisticated’, ‘educated’, ‘responsible’ and ‘alert citizens.’
Here are some chronological happenings for last five months to clean Futala Lake….

April 2018
National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) in collaboration with NGP Paryavaran Prerna developed a floating cycle to help Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to clean the Futala and other lakes to rejuvenate the local water bodies and increase the amount of dissolved oxygen in them.

May 2018
Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), commenced a drive to clean famous Futala Lake area. All the employees of ten zones of NMC participated in the cleaning drive. Also, the civic body started desilting of the lake in a big-bang manner. NMC commissioner, Virendra Singh, led the drive that commenced at 7 am and concluded at 9 am. Assistant Commissioners of all zones, Zonal Health Officers and employees were assisted by members of Green Vigil Foundation. The total premises of the lake were divided into 10 parts, and each of 10 zones of NMC was given responsibility to clean the allotted part. Mayor Nanda Jichkar also joined the drive. Singh directed officials concerned to levy fine on persons throwing garbage in the lake. He also inspected the area from Botanical Garden to Futala Lake by walking along the compound wall of the lake. He also talked to officers about removal of shrubs and small trees within the lake. Health Department should place dust-bins at various points and also remove bushes from the surrounding, he added. He suggested getting help of National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).

June 2018
Huge violation of safety norms is being witnessed in the cleanliness drive that is being conducted by NMC at Futala Lake. Virendra Singh has launched the drive to clean Futala Lake. Around 30 members of Macchimaar Mahasangh have been engaged to assist in the cleanliness drive. NMC found violation of safety norms and negligence by its Fire and Emergency Services Department towards safety norms, ferrying boat without any security was found.

July 2018
Taking a step further in its ongoing Futala Lake cleanliness drive, the NMC will place garbage bins at every 100 metres along its periphery. The decision was taken when municipal commissioner Virendra Singh along with additional municipal commissioner Ravindra Kumbhare visited the lake to inspect the ongoing work. NMC has also demolished unauthorized shops or their extensions near the lakes. “NMC will also install dustbins at every hundred metres surrounding the lake. A plan has also been passed by commissioner Singh in which parking will be allotted only for three hours near the lake,” said health officer (sanitation) Dr Pradip Dasarwar. The commissioner issued directives to prohibit domestic animals in the area and has also ordered work for extension of Futala.

August 2018
Failing to contain the increasing pile of garbage being dumped in Telangkhedi aka Futala lake, NMC has sought ‘Gabbar’s’ help to alert the citizens, or threaten to be precise! NMC has put up a display board at Futala lake, carrying the classic picture of Gabbar Singh asking his Sambha to alert citizens about the fine being imposed by NMC on throwing garbage in the lake. The poster has generated a great deal of curiosity among the citizens.
September 10, 2018 in noon: The Hitavada visited the lake on spot and found ‘God fearing citizens are continuing throwing of garbage in the lake. The boundary walls are damaged. No dustbins to collect garbage. The eateries are closed due to Nagpur bandh. No poster of ‘Gabbar’ and no bicycle found cleaning the lake. Yes! Violation of safety norms are seen everywhere. Let’s pray ‘Ganpati Bappa’ to forgive the innocent educated citizens who are working very hard to keep on piling the garbage in the water bodies in the city.