Renovation of Tank Bund grabs eyeballs

The HMDA is now focusing on beautification and new street lighting facilities on the stretch that surrounds the Hussainsagar lake in Hyderabad.   | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal

The spanking wide and smooth promenade with bowl shaped hanging lamps looks like a movie set recreating a bygone era. But it is the NH44 connecting Hyderabad to Secunderabad which the citizens call Tank Bund. The transformation of the Tank Bund road stretch is dramatic enough that it has become a topic of discussion and many citizens are stopping by to admire and click photographs.

But the biggest test for the transformation will be on September 19, 2021 Anant Chaturdasi when more than a hundred thousand Ganesh idols will be brought to the Hussainsagar Lake for immersion. “The government has to facilitate the immersion of Ganesh idols in the lake. They will have to look at the arrangements for a smooth programme,” said Dr. Bhagwant Rao of Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samiti, the umbrella body that coordinates the Ganesh immersion in the city. “There is no question of any other location or site,” said Dr. Rao when asked about how the immersions will unfold this year.

Every year, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation and police team up to create temporary infrastructure on the lake front deploying heavy-duty cranes, lighting, surveillance cameras, water kiosks and other amenities to ensure an incident-free immersion event. Hundreds of floodlights are installed on lamposts, the guardrails on the lake are removed, heavy-duty cranes numbering about 40 that can lift upto 10 to 30-tonne idols are brought in move the idols from stationary vehicles to be immersed in the lake.

Ganesh idols ranging from one of the tallest installed in Khairatabad to thousands of idols ranging between 5 to 30-feet are brought and immersed in the lake over a two-day period in two locations: NTR Marg and Tank Bund. “Earlier, the idols were immersed in different lakes and wells in the old city. In 1980 we formed the Bhagyanagar Ganesh Utsav Samithi and created a unified immersion event,” said Dr. Rao, a founder member of BGUS.

Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Authority has factored in the annual Ganesh immersion function and is using 150-mm stones on the stretch where the cranes are deployed. “That stretch of road has a more robust flooring which will allow heavy duty vehicles like cranes to move on them without cracking,” said one of the supervisors executing the work at the site.

“The lamps take away attention from the lake. Tactile flooring which is the norm in any pedestrian infrastructure is missing. It has a harsh edge to it. Why weren’t citizens consulted in creating such a facility,” said Shankar Narayan an architect.

It remains to be seen how this showpiece street infrastructure survives one of Hyderabad’s iconic community festival this year.

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Printable version | Mar 9, 2021 1:56:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/renovation-of-tank-bund-grabs-eyeballs/article33669158.ece

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