Chandrapur (Mah): In a bid to restore the glory of the 600-year-old 'Ramala Talao' here, district authorities have drawn an ambitious plan to develop a 'Science Garden' at the historic lake on the lines of popular Kankaria lake at Ahmedabad in Gujarat after de-silting it.
'Ramala Talao' (tank), built by Gond Kings on the city outskirts is infested by 'Echornia', an aquatic plant (weed) that has left both the lake and the Ramala Garden, developed earlier on its small island, in shambles.
According to District Collector Deepak Mhaisekar, the existing garden is in bad shape and its approach road has become synonymous with notorious activities, which he is keen to change first.
"We have roped in Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) for developing the Ramala Garden and have submitted a plan for building a walk-way type approach road to the island of 'Ramala Talao' at an initial cost of Rs one crore," Mhaisekar said.
The Collector, who led many development activities at Nanded as former Municipal Commissioner, said he was impressed by development of Kankaria lake at Ahmedabad which attracts around 50,000 visitors daily with its Science Garden, fountains and Laser shows.
"Ramala is comparatively a tiny one and it could easily be developed as a place of attraction by converting it into a 'Science Garden' with interactive models on various scientific topics. I am sure local children would be quite interested in these type of unique models. Right now, the nearest place for children to witness science models is Dr Raman Science Centre at Nagpur, which is over 150 kms from the city," he said.
This garden would the first-of-its-kind in the district providing many children from nearby rural areas an easy access to such models, he claimed.
Mhaisekar also spelt out plans to set up an observatory at the Ramala Science Garden to spike an interest among school children for astronomy.
Mhaisekar further said that the first and foremost task is of weeding out 'Echornia' which is sucking life out of the Talao.
Efforts in the past to prevent inflow of contaminated water into the tank did not achieve desirable results.
"But now we have specific plans to treat the impure water of 'Machchi Nala' that flows into Ramal Tank with the technical assistance from National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), Nagpur.
In addition, we shall take up de-silting of the tank during the summers so that the weeds and unwanted material that helps growth of 'Echornia' is cleared on a permanent basis and then develop the garden as per our plans," the Collector said.
Another project of constructing an 'Alpa Bachat Bhavan' in the Collectorate premises would take off soon, he said adding, a provision of Rs 3.50 crore has been already made for the purpose in the District Planning and Development Committee meeting.
He informed that the proposed hall would have a sitting capacity of around 250 people with all modern amenities like interactive microphones with video tracking, individual computers at each of desk, etc.