Naik Talao: Victim of urban mismanagement

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Sep 2018 09:43:05


 

By Manish Soni,

Once they used to cover vast expanse of Nagpur city, these water bodies occupied a place of pride in the community. But when city began to transform, the urban mismanagement cast its dark shadow on these lakes that are relegated to secondary place. During early days these lakes were source of drinking water supply for people and hence they remained unpolluted. And now one cannot even stand besides these lakes, the reason people have criminally destroyed these lakes which for years sustained the life. Neglect over the years, the lakes have not only shrinked in their size but city is now struggling to protect the wetlands that are central to maintaining the ecological balance.

 

Naik Talav located in Central Nagpur is the best example of haphazard urbanisation taking toll of water bodies in Orange city. Once it had its own eco system but now people have reduced the lake into a gutter. No one thinks twice before emptying solid waste into the water body. Aiding in criminal neglect of destroying the fabric of Naik Talav is Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) which till date has not bothered to provide sewage network in the area that houses people living below poverty line. So the lake is now heavily polluted as sewer lines are simply opened into it, instead of releasing it after treatment.


Also, as it is famously said India is land of festivals. But these festivals have done more harm to water bodies as idols were immersed in this lake as per traditions that aided decaying of the ecosystem. The combined effect of all these actions of society at large is that lake is loosing its identity.
Central Nagpur is having four prestigious lakes- Gandhi Sagar Lake, Lendi Talav, Naik Talav and Dobe Talav. And each of the lake is more or less in same condition, showcasing criminal neglect that pushed them to stage of rotting.However of them condition of Naik Talav is very bad, it is dying an unnatural death due to apathy of local residents and insensitive planning authority.

 

(1) Damaged ghats of the lake showcasing its pathetic conditions
(2) The silt and weeds removed from the lake have been dumped on the pathway negating efforts to beautify the surroundings
(3) Garbage dumped outside compound wall of the lake. 

Another major problem with Naik Talav is encroachment that has occurred on its periphery due to which untreated sewage is released into it. For people living on its banks, they are unconcerned whether the lake remains or dries-up their life continues in the dingy places. The stinking smell does not allow any one to stay for more than a minute near the lake, surprisingly, hundreds of people are living and passing daily near the lake as if there is no problem at all.
An open urinal situated in the compound of the lake adds to filth in the surrounding. A portion of land just outside the compound wall of lake is used for dumping garbage. Due to the filth and unclean surrounding the area is hotbed of mosquitoes but local residents have become immense to any threat, it seems.Recently, civic body cleared the hyacinth to allow immersion of idols of Lord Krishna and Lord Ganesh but same was simply dumped on the circular pathway that encircled the lake. So civic body officials were not sincere as the removed weeds are again coming back into the lake.

 

State Government and local authorities are equally responsible for the sorry state of affairs of lake as they never gave thought to maintenance of water bodies in the city. During the last 10 years Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) did not take any interest to rejuvenate this important lake and funds instead went for lakes situated in West and South West areas of Nagpur. This is nothing but a step motherly treatment to the backward area of the Orange city.


The civic body had prepared a plan to rejuvenate Naik Talav and a DPR of Rs 2.75 crore was also approved. The master plan suggested several short terms and long term goals to preserve these water bodies. The lake is highly contaminated and the water has many heavy metals like zinc, lead, nickel, copper and cadmium that are harmful for human health. These metals came due to immersion of idols in the lake. Littering around the lakes by visitors, discharge of garbage by residents near the lake, washing of cattle are other reasons for causing contamination.


Naik Talav is mainly surrounded by slums Tandapeth, Bangladesh and Raut Slums. The area is dominated by people belonging to Bairagi and Halba community. NMC had beautified this lake by constructing compound wall from financial assistance of State Government provided by Dr. Nitin Raut, then Minister of Maharashtra. Presently, barring two ghats, other ghats have became damaged. The Eastern periphery of the lake is scattered with a series of religious shrines dedicated to different Gods and different religions and sects. A Shiv Temple is situated just next to the water body. Due to filth and unhealthy condition people stay away from the lake giving way too anti-social such as gambling, doping which goes on openly. The people entrusted with overseeing the administration of Nagpur city needs to take urgent steps to prevent Naik Talav from becoming history.

 


 

Deepraj Pardikar,Deputy Mayor

Deepraj Pardikar, Deputy Mayor of NMC, he lives in a nearby area situated near Naik Talav. He said Naik Talav is a very old lake and it is our responsibility to revive it. The compound wall of the lake was damaged and iron rods were stolen by the miscreants. We are still trying to get funds from State Government for beautification of the lake.

 

 


 


Manish Umredkar,a resident

Manish Umredkar, a local resident of Raut Square near Naik Talav squarely blamed authorities and public representative for the sorry state of affairs of Naik Talav. He said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is ruling from local to Central level and therefore they can always seek more funds for beautification and rejuvenation of this lake.

 

 


 

MLA Vikas Kumbhare
Central Nagpur MLA Vikas Kumbhare while talking to The Hitavada said that a plan has been prepared for rejuvenation and beautification of Naik Talav but for implementing the same we need local support. People living in nearby localities should stop throwing garbage into the lake and cattles need not be directly washed in it. He also blamed NMC for destroying the lake and added that Lake Rejuvenation Committee of State Government had rejected the proposal of beautification of Lendi Talav as encroachment around it could not be removed. Now he is seeking help of Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari for revival of the lake.

 

 


 


Residents beautifully maintain lake in Mahdibagh Colony

By Moiz Haque,

In stark contrast to the polluted and filthy water bodies in some areas of North Nagpur, the residents of Mahdibagh Colony have painstakingly maintained the landscaped lake on their premises. It was dug in 1989, and since then the Mahdibagh maintenance committee and the residents have created picnic spot-like surroundings. Trees of a variety of species, flowering shrubs and crotons have been raised on the periphery and on the islands in the water body, named Chashm-e-Zeb. Around eight years back, the lake was de-silted, deepened and also extended to nearly twice its previous expanse. Two fountains were installed to add to its beauty.


The water level is maintained through rainwater harvesting and the outflow of a nearby swimming pool. An old masonry well situated in the 125-year-old settlement provides water to the swimming pool. Rather than use chemicals or set up an expensive filtration plant for the pool, its water is recycled by pumping it into the pond every week.


All care is taken not to throw trash or waste in or around the pond. Even otherwise, teams of young volunteers, under the Mahdi Bagh Youth Club (MBYC) ensure its upkeep through weekly cleanliness drives, said MBYC President, Moin Malak.


Surrounded by homes, the picturesque pond serves as an ideal recreation place for the young and old of the colony to simply take in the serenity or engage in fishing, photography and other healthy activities. Two row boats are also available for rides. A few months back, Mahdibagh Colony received a certificate of appreciation from the Mayor of Nagpur for its outstanding cleanliness and greenery.