Santoshpur’s lake, in poor shape for want of maintenance, is set to be restored, thanks to residents of the area. They have decided to take up the job themselves, after requests to Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) officials were ignored.
“Since the past year, we have been urging the CMC to restore the lake, but its officials have not responded,” said Swapan Ray, local CPM leader and chairman of the Lake Development Committee of Santoshpur.
The lake, only source of fresh air in the area, has not been resusciateded for years. Its clean-up will benefit many, Ray said.
Sunderbans development minister Kanti Ganguly, Borough XII chairman Sunil Chakraborty and Ray, along with other eminent residents of the area, have formed the committee to renovate the lake. The committee has decided to develop a park around the lake. There are also plans to develop boating and swimming facilities.
Ray said a space would be provided for dumping flowers offered in prayers. “Two persons will be appointed to keep the lake clean,” he added. “We approached the CMC about a year-and-a-half ago for financial assistance, but it has not responded. So, we took the initiatives to raise the funds ourselves,” Ray said.
Borough chairman Sunil Chakraborty said that years ago, the CMC had provided some financial aid for erecting a guard wall around the lake. “However, after that, it has disbursed nothing for the lake’s upkeep,” he added.
The committee had organised a rally in January to make residents aware of the importance of the lake’s maintenance.
According to the committee, Rs 25 lakh is required for renovating the lake and developing the park. “We have been able to raise Rs 5 lakh from local contributions. We are expecting to collect another Rs 20 lakh from various sources, including businessmen,” Swapan Ray said.
Borough chairman Chakraborty said since the lake belongs to the CMC, the committee will seek permission from the civic body for the renovation. “We hope to get the go-ahead from the CMC,” Chakraborty said.