Looks like the historical Siddeshwar pond at Thane is slowly being eyed by the land mafia and being encroached on. And while the TMC administration is very well aware of this encroachment, it prefers to neglect it. Indian history states that this 100 to 150 year old Siddeshwar pond at Thane was often visited by many Sadhus and saints with bhajans and kirtans read by them. It is believed that the saints used to bathe in pond water and the move on their journey. A famous saint of who used to visit this pond was Saint Siddeshwar Maharaj and after his name this pond was named. This historical pond gained more significance when some people found many idols in this pond. But today this historical pond is enveloped in encroachments giving it the look of a drain rather than a pond. Garbage and debris is strewn everywhere around it with neither the corporator nor TMC paying any attention to it. TMC administration is very much aware of this encroachment but it is alleged that the civic body in nexus with the land mafia is not taking any action against. Even TMC Commissioner Nandkumar Jantre accepts the concerns that loom over the historical pond. However, later in a shocking move, the Thane Municipal Corporation administration allegedly in nexus with corporators and builders brought the pond area under the SRA scheme but were taken to court. According to the SRA plan, a multi storeyed building was to be erected at the pond area. This move allegedly was done by TMC officers in nexus with corporators and builders. However, environmentalists came to the rescue of the pond and approached the Thane Collector’s office first and later challenged the decision in Mumbai High Court. The court ruled in favor of the environmentalists. When we spoke to TMC Commissioner Nandkumar Jantre, he stated that an immediate meeting would be called and action taken. Thane is known as the city of lakes because it used to house around 100 lakes which have been reduced to a mere 35. And like every year, TMC would be once again allotting crores of rupees in the budget for these lakes but looking at the condition one can estimate where the funds are actually going. With cameraperson Ravi Nikam, Monika Bhosale for NMTV News.
August 6, 2007
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