Ambazari Lake: A picturesque site vying for identity

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Sep 2018 09:13:25


Staff Reporter,

With forthcoming festive season and open skies hinting at yet another incoming busy season, that draws people and children alike to this romantic and striking patch, for a soothing sojourn, The Hitavada decided to review the present status of the lake side spot by taking a stroll around the Ambazari lake.

Starting from the Swami Vivekanand Statue, one gets awed by the gurgle and bubbling sound of the overflow of the lake water, cascading down the slope and flowing into the Nag river. The spot near the waterfall and the Statue was surprisingly clean, except for a few plastic bottles and packages hurled with utter disregard by visitors, who comprised mostly of college students and romancing youngsters. Climbing the embankment, one was shocked to see that the end portion of the embankment, that touches the wall from where the overflow commences, does not have a protective fencing. Selfie-taking was in full swing at this point. While the Security Guards blew their whistles on any encroachment near the Statue, none seemed to be bothered about this dangerous spot.

There were some traces of broken down fencing bundled up and thrown into the bushes. The entire stretch along the embankment from the ledge of the overflow to the obsolete damaged intake well and beyond has no barricade of any sort that would separate the humans from dipping their feet in the water. Wooded patches along the embankment were all occupied by romancing couples, while some noisy enthusiasts decided to swing on the branches of trees, howling expletive in show of their macho status. This scribe also saw youngsters blatantly ignoring the signboard near the discussed intake well, that warned of danger as the structure was damaged and could collapse at any given moment. Youngsters were seen walking up to the edge of the well to sit and enjoy the site.

A gentleman was also seen enjoying a swim. Occasionally, a biker was also seen riding along the embankment. Whether such activities are permitted is a question left to ponder. The safety and security measures at Ambazari thus present a pathetic half-hearted effort, waiting for disaster to happen.

As this scribe approached the main gate area, the scene was impressive, cleanliness wise. Yet lack of proper planning showed up once again. No garbage bins have been provided to the small tapris outside the main gate. Students pick up eatables and walk in, hurling the wrapper alongside, with no one in sight to check them. Security personnel posted inside, spoke of the arrogance displayed by students and visitors when stopped from littering or creating nuisance. There were two Chana Futana shops on the embankment itself. Who had given them permission to do so is a mystery.

From the entrance, one could see the majestic Hunter Fighter Bomber Jet, hero of the 1965 war, showing up between the foliage. On close scrutiny, one felt sad and disgusted on seeing the rusting Airframe of the Aircraft, which seemed to be orphaned. We sing peens about the exploits of our Fighter Pilots and Soldiers only on August 15 and January 26, that too if the speaker happens to know this part of important history.

Rest of the time is hibernation. It seems that neither the Nagpur Municipal Corporation or the IAF Maintenance Command or the NCC are bothered about this precious piece of history, that could be given a fresh coat of brilliant camouflage paint, with bright set of roundels and markings. This war plane could be a motivator for students, NCC Air Wing cadets, could be given the task of undertaking “Ghoda malish” of this aeroplane and to make the place neat and tidy atleast on these dates, followed by a special motivational briefing by former IAF fighter Pilots or even journalists from The Hitavada, on January 26 and August 15, every year on the historical exploits of this Aeroplane in the 1965 War.

A slumbering NCC group Head quarter Nagpur make take note of this, step out of their cosy Yuwa Shakti Bhawan and act, providing an novel example in the art of motivation and Patriotism. How many NCC Air Wing cadets actually know about the Gnat and Hunter fighter Jet is anybody’s guess. There are two other spots where such decommissioned fighter Jets are on display. A Gnat Fighter Jet at Gandhibaug garden and one MiG-23 in front of VNIT Admin Building are suffering from the same fate.

The slope downwards from the entrance of the Ambazari garden gate to the Dharampeth College T point has an obnoxious foul smelling garbage disposal dump, where garbage containers of Kanak & CO are parked haphazardly with over flowing foul smelling garbage. An eyesore, the spot is favourite haunt of stray dogs, who seem to merrily wait for the dispersal, so as to get a morsel or two from the spill over. That is the state of Ambazari lake, which was assigned to Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) for development and the offer had to be withdrawn as MTDC, with its laid back attitude, is clueless and helpless.

If Ambazari spot was handed over to MP State Tourism Development Corporation, they will grab the opportunity to develop a money spinning amusement park at Ambazari, with good facilities like rest rooms and hygienic eateries to make it a popular visiting spot, besides providing the Tourism Corporation a pivot to publicise their sevices at other attractive places.

With Union Minister for Shipping and Surface Transport, Ganga Rejuvenation Nitin Gadkari showing interest, it is up to the NMC, NIT to hire services of a professional landscape designer and planner in giving shape to this spot, that could add to the Smart City’s list of attractions.