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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Drain gain for dirty lake

No longer will hazardous biomedical waste from a private hospital and unsanitary sewer water from residential areas be dumped into the historical Ranchi Lake.

The Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) has started construction of a drain on Lake Road, behind the telephone exchange near Nagarmal Modi Seva Sadan, and is likely to complete it within four months. This five-feet-deep, eight-feet-wide and 100-metre-long drain will link and divert seven small channels, which currently carry sewage from adjoining areas to the lake. The network of drains will be further connected to the main sewer pipe to save the water body.

RMC officials said the estimated cost of the project was Rs 82 lakh, which had been sanctioned by the urban development department after a series of meetings. Ranchi Jheel Bachaon Abhiyan Samiti members, who pressured civic mandarins to save the polluted Bada Talab last year, are said to be behind this prompt action.

The 52-acre Ranchi Lake hosts innumerable houses, temples, a hospital and eateries on its banks and has a population concentration of 50,000.

Medical waste from Nagarmal Modi Seva Sadan and sewage from apartments had turned it into one large cesspool.

But, things will change now, promised RMC’s deputy chief executive officer Dipankar Panda. “Construction of the drain started four days ago as a part of our lake beautification drive. The drain will stretch from Nagarmal Modi Seva Sadan to Marwari Boys’ College and be connected to others drains so that domestic and biomedical wastes do not contaminate lake water,” he said.

He added that the drain would be ready before the rainy season. “We will also erect a boundary for the lake as a part of our campaign.”

Members of Ranchi Jheel Bachaon Abhiyan Samiti are keeping their fingers crossed. “We have put in a lot of hard work. On our prodding water hyacinths were cleared. And now, our sustained campaign is yielding the desired result — a clean Ranchi Lake. We are glad and hope everything goes well. Residents living near the lake will, finally, be rid of the stench,” said Samiti patron Rajiv Ranjan Mishra.