Operation Ranchi Lake Clean-up begins Monday at behest of corporation
The city’s iconic Ranchi Lake, dating back to the British era but renamed last year as Vivekananda Sarovar, can hope to breathe easy soon with the local corporation deciding to deploy over half a dozen men to clear it of water hyacinths.
Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) mayor Asha Lakra said that about 10 cleaners will be engaged on a temporary basis till the time they manage to rope in a private agency to maintain the lake round-the-clock.
“Hyacinth and its cleaning have become a major problem for Ranchi Lake. Despite floating tenders in the past, we haven’t got any agency for the job. However, we have now decided to press 10-12 cleaners from Monday. Meanwhile, a fresh tender is under consideration to rope in an agency soon. We also appeal other social outfits to join in our efforts,” she said.
The flow of sewage water directly into the lake remains a major problem. Lakra said the civic body has readied a plan to set up a sewage treatment plan at the lake to address the issue. “A plan is in the offing for construction of a sewage treatment plant as a part of the ongoing beautification and renovation project. It will be rolled out soon after preparing a detailed project report,” she said.
Spread over 52 acres, Ranchi Lake, popularly known as Bada Talab, was created by a British agent, Colonel Onsely, in 1842 with the help of prisoners to maintain the groundwater level of the city located more than 2,100 feet above sea level.
Lakra said the first phase of beautification and conversation of the lake, which began in May 2017, with an initial investment of Rs 9.52 crore is over. Two bridges — one 20m long and 6m wide linking the main entrance with Island-1 of the lake, the other 200m long and 6m wide connecting Island-1 with Island-2 — are ready.
This apart, lighting, fountains and pathways were done in the first phase of renovation. Later, a 33-foot-high statue of Swami Vivekananda was added which increased spending to Rs 20-crore in June 2017. The statue was opened to the public in January 2019 after then chief minister Raghubar Das inaugurated it in run up to last year’s Lok Sabha polls.
Lakra said a proposal worth Rs 12.5 crore for a second phase of work, including sewerage treatment plant, boundary wall and other works, has been sent to the state urban department for sanction.