Civic workers remove the filth from Dimna Lake banks on Monday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Picnickers at scenic Dimna Lake can now enjoy the reservoir’s mirror-finish surface and misty hills around it instead of the sight and stench of filth.
Tata Steel subsidiary Jusco, the lake’s guardian, has initiated concerted efforts to clean up the one-acre picnic area from December 15. Five workers armed with shovels and bags are working every day from 10am to 5pm to clear mounds of thermocol plates, plastic bags and leftovers.
This effort comes after a year of oversight that led The Telegraph to report on “The lake with a view and garbage” on December 11.
Jusco spokesperson Rajesh Rajan said after the report came out, a team of officials took a recce of the area and planned a daily clean-up strategy — including on weekends — till February 2013, when the picnic season is likely to end after peaking on Republic Day.
The leaking underground pipe linking Subernarekha to Dimna reservoir, which made a 5,000sqft patch slushy, has also been sealed.
Jusco sources said the water valve had got jammed. “It was repaired on Thursday, but overcast weather delayed the ground’s drying,” said Rajan.
Instructions have been given to the town electrical department to repair the electric pole, which “will be done in the next couple of days” he added.
Jusco will install five brick dustbins in a bid to revive civic sense among picnickers. These structures — instead of iron vats — will also stop theft and vandalism, authorities hope.
“From past experience, we have seen that some local people (in Patamda) use gas cutters to steal iron vats. Even pre-fabricated concrete structures have been vandalised and iron rods stolen. Now, we hope traditional brick dustbins won’t be deemed valuable enough for theft but will serve their purpose of keeping the place clean,” added Rajan.
Wastes will be both burnt and carted away in Jusco vans.
If these initiatives go on, the lake may well be restored to its pristine glory. Dedicated picnickers like Mrinmoyee Pramanik, a sales manager with private bank in Ghatshila, certainly hope so.
Pramanik, who came to Dimna on Sunday for a family picnic, had a tip for Jusco. “It should depute guards to check picnickers if they are littering instead of taking wastes to dustbins,” this conscientious citizen said, giving Dimna a thumbs-up for 2 Ss. “Safety and scenic beauty are there, sanitation is being added,” he smiled.