The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is now seeking help from young students to design its infrastructure elements better. Two graduates - Karan Ruparel and Sagar Jhanlani - from Indian Education Society's (IES) College of Architecture, Bandra have already chalked out a plan to revamp the 200-year-old Bandra talao. The site is spread across 5,714 sq.m.
The design proposal was submitted by these architects in November 2016, and the final proposal was presented before Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta earlier this month. Soon after the research work is completed, the work may begin.
The college has started an initiative called 'SPARK' (Study for Planning, Analysis and Research Knowledge), where students act as a research cell and plan and design developmental elements. “The H/West ward officer approached us to take up the project of Bandra talao, so we had started with surveying and research work in June 2016,” said Karan.
Reportedly, around 20 students helped in the research work by visiting the site every day and talking to locals there. They carried out a detailed study on all age-groups of people who visit the place, timings when people visit the talao the most, traffic movements around etc and made the design accordingly. The main aim of their design is to increase footfalls and make the place more accessible to all types of visitors. A lot of new activities are added in their plan to majorly increase the footfalls.
What will be the new additions?
Datum walkway: A 30-meter datum walkway will be created so that visitors can experience the water surface as well as the aquatic life. This enclosed walkway will be 1.80m below the promenade level.
Glass-board walk: The loop of the talao is incomplete and thus people cannot have a complete stroll around it. To bridge this inaccessibility, a glass board walk will be made to connect the unconnected part of talao. People can experience the ripples below their feet while walking.
Stepping Stones: The area near the Gurunank road will be utilised to create stepping stones, an interactive water play for the children.
Sheds: Sheds will be added at many points where people can sit, chat and relax. As per observation of architects, the major portion of talao does not have shade to escape the scorching heat.
Art Installations and reading corners: At many places, art installations will be set up where people can stop by and admire it. Spaces will also be allotted for readers and writers who can enjoy the calmness of the lake too.
More Trees: The new proposal does not intend to remove even a single tree around the talao, instead 10-12 additional palm trees will be planted there.
The troubled talao
The talao remains filthy most of the time since visitors and locals dump their garbage in it, polluting the water body.
In the night, drunkards and drug peddlers visit the place causing security concerns for others.
The locals carry out fishing there illegally and endanger the aquatic species there.