Line Tank Talab is not only on its way to becoming Ranchi’s new beauty spot, but also a destination for thrills and spills — in a far cry from its former foul self, with floating garbage and choking aquatic life.
The beautification of the pond, being carried out by Ranchi Regional Development Authority (RRDA), is in its final stages and will make way for boating activities to create a splash in the entertainment circuit.
The RRDA, which is responsible for the talab’s upkeep, has started looking for an agency that will be entrusted with the task to introduce boating and other recreational facilities and also maintain the same. On Friday, RRDA secretary H.L. Mandal issued a public notice, inviting bids from interested parties.
“Ranchi is a major tourist draw of the region. The main idea behind the beautification project is to develop Line Tank Talab into a hotspot. The boating option will not only give residents some much-needed amusement, but also draw more and more people from other parts of the state,” said Mandal.
However, the plan has just been mooted and it will be sometime before the recreation project takes shape. “The plan is at the nascent stage and we really don’t know how many months it will take to materialise. But, we are going ahead with it,” he stressed.
According to Mandal, the chosen agency will have to bear the entire project cost. In return, it will be given the responsibility of running the boating service for the next 15 years and will be able to recover the expenses from ticket sales. The state’s share will be Rs 15 lakh per annum.
If the Line Tank boating service becomes a success, it will be the first such viable project in the state capital as two similar initiatives failed sustenance test (see chart).
Situated in the heart of the city near Albert Ekka Chowk, Line Tank Talab sprawls over 3.5 acres. The water body was in a very poor shape till RRDA took up its renovation some two years ago. The urban development department had allocated Rs 2.43 crore for the pond’s facelift so that it could be converted into a tourist hub.
Under the beautification plan, a boundary wall has been raised and a concrete support erected after desiltation to prevent further soil erosion. Apart from these, 10 staircases have been built, while a 6ft wide footpath around the pond is being constructed.
The project also includes creating a manicured lawn, a flowerbed, garden lights, cafeteria, benches, toilets and pathways.
A colour fountain in the centre of the pond will be an added attraction.
Mandal said construction of the fountain’s foundation was nearly complete and the Rs 35-lakh structure will be installed by Calcutta-based Classic Coal Construction Pvt. Ltd within the next fortnight. “We will require a three-phase power connection for the fountain and will apply for the same in the next two-three days,” said an RRDA engineer.
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