Guardian Minister of Mumbai Mangal Prabhat Lodha Monday asked the city residents to propose an alternate plan for the reconstructing the century-old Malabar Hill Reservoir which is located underneath the surface of Kamla Nehru Park.
Residents are opposing the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) idea of rebuilding this plan since 389 trees will be affected for this project.
Several citizens and activists have submitted their objection to the civic authorities, following which the guardian minister Lodha, who is also local MLA, took a meeting with the citizens on Monday.
“I would suggest all of you to speak with an expert who can propose an alternative plan for this project, and then later present it to us in another meeting,” Lodha told residents during the course of his meeting.
The next meeting between Lodha and citizens will take place on September 26, Tuesday. “Our base demand is that Hanging Gardens and its surrounding areas shouldn’t be touched and if any new tank is to be built it could be constructed elsewhere,” said Zoru Bhathena, who was also present during the meeting. The citizens have said that they will consult with multiple hydraulic engineers and present an alternate model to the guardian minister in the next meeting.
Built in 1887, the Malabar Hill water reservoir is one of the the first artificial water reservoirs that was built to meet the day-to-day water needs of the city.
The reservoir is located at a hillock just beneath the surface of the Hanging Gardens and the current capacity of this tank is around 150 Million Liters per Day (MLD), and the BMC has planned to increase this capacity to 190 MLD.
Since the new reservoir will be larger in size, it will also require expansion of its outer boundaries, as a result 389 trees will be affected for this project, out of which 189 trees will be completely hacked, while 200 trees will be transplanted by the civic authorities.