A large number of devotees are upset as the ponds of the city have been left unattended. Wadala and Istralay are two important ponds of Panvel where most of the puja and all religious rituals take place. Apart from puja Ganpati idols, a large number of Durga and Amba idols are brought here for immersion every year. Unfortunately, both the ponds are in pathetic condition as nothing has been done for cleaning them after the puja and festivals.
Sachin Konde, a resident of Panvel says, “A large number of devotees come and immerse the idols in the ponds every year, but no one comes to clean them after that. This apathy of the authorities is not a new thing for us and just because their negligence these ponds remain dirty throughout the year.”
He adds, “As per norms, the ponds should be maintained before and after the festivals, so that the devotees and the local residents don’t face any problem at any point of time. Panvel Municipal Corporation (PMC) haphazardly takes some action in the name of cleaning the ponds just before the festivals. However, no one is concerned about it once the festivals get over.”
Jitendra Chauhan, another resident says, “The water of both the ponds are very dirty and cannot be used for any purpose. Apparently, the residents of the nearby areas wash their clothes and utensils over there. Similarly, the nails, pieces of woods and other materials used for making the idols remain under water as no one clean them after the festivals. These hurt the people when they get into the water during next festival.”
“Both the ponds have historical significance and if properly maintained, they would have been other attractions of the city. Every year we get some false promises of alleviating the problems but none of them are materialized even after months of celebration. If the authorities are not concerned about the maintenance of the ponds, who will solve our problems?” asks a visibly irked Jitendra.
When Newsband contacted Panvel Municipal Commissioner Dr. Ganesh Deshmukh, he said, “We have decided to develop the historical Wadala pond into most sought after recreation hub in the city. Since we don’t have enough funds for the same, we will develop it on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. We are planning boating, water sports, cafeteria, swimming pools food courts to pull the crowd. We are working on to make the 30000 sq meter water body a land mark of the city.”
“This apart we are also planning to clean all the ponds of Panvel and action will be taken soon,” he concluded.