The half constructed boundary wall of the lake and dumped debris into the lake which is giving a very shabby look. (Pic by Satish Raut)
By Kaushik Bhattacharya :
Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had released fund for conservation of the lake n BJP planning to stage agitation against MVA Government
WHEN governments, businesses, and citizens come together with all their resources and pursue a goal with all their might, change takes place. Sadly, it is not the case with Sakkardara lake where the present ruling dispensation in Maharashtra is showing lack of political will and determination towards saving the historic lake. The Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) Government has been accused of holding up funds allotted by the previous regime for rejuvenation of Sakkardara lake. South West Nagpur MLA Mohan Mate, on Tuesday, blamed the Maharashtra Government for holding up the fund that was already allotted by the previous BJP-led State Government for development and beautification of the lake.
“Former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis allotted a fund of Rs 13 crore for rejuvenation of the lake. But after change of guard in State, the MVA Government has released only 2 crore for the project while remaining fund is yet to be received,” Mate told ‘The Hitavada’. “We are constantly following up with the Government in this matter. The Municipal Commissioner also had a meeting with the authorities in the Mantralaya in this regard,” Mate said. NMC constructed a boundary wall on the back side of the lake to avoid dumping of solid waste by the slum dwellers. The civic body also gave contract of construction of walking track around the lake but due to lack of funds the project stopped mid-way. “It becomes difficult for the civic body to do payment to the contractor. Without fund the contractor also stopped the work,” said Mate.
The legislator further said, “The conservation of the lake is our responsibility and we are unable to do that due to lack of funds. Hence, we are planning to stage agitation against the State Government on this matter soon.” However, former MLA of South West Nagpur, Sudhakar Kohale, who initiated the renovation work of Sakkardara Lake, said, “Fadnavis Government sanctioned Rs 30 crore from the DPR, in which NMC received Rs 10 crore in the first phase. Thereafter, I personally put efforts to clean the lake premises and removed 1,600 truck silt from the lake. We also spent Rs 40 lakh for construction of boundary wall on the back side of the lake.” The DPR prepared shows that the civic body has planned to construct boundary wall, walking track, desilting of lake, viewer’s gallery, green patch development, parking lot, food plaza etc at Sakkardara lake. But nothing is currently visible on the lake side.
Even, the hotel that was situated on the bank of the lake is now closed and its boundary wall collapsed into the lake. Expressing concern on the slow pace of work after last Assembly elections, Kohale said, “It is very disappointing that the fund of Rs 10 crore that the NMC received for renovation of Sakkardara lake has not been properly utilised till date. The pandemic and lockdown may be the reason behind it but the work is not visible so far while the fund has finished.” While everyone is talking about beautification of the Sakkardara lake, environmentalists and experts have been calling for conservation first. “The government should first think about lake’s conservation and then its beautification,” an expert said even has he waited for a sympathetic view of the lake by the top leaders in Maharashtra Government.