Not a walk to remember

Not a walk to remember

For close to two months, the extended walking path near the Malleswaram entrance of Sankey Tank has been under construction. While it was open to walkers initially, the entire stretch including the public gym is now cordoned off, making it inconvenient for walkers who are clueless of how long the work will take.

However, the work being done is unavoidable, says Dr AR Anand, the president of Sankey Park Walkers’ Association. He informs that the foundation of the walking track over the bund had weakened over the last two years, which is why something had to be done urgently. “Along with the authorities, we approached some professors from the Indian Institute of Science, who designed the gabion box technology for Sankey Tank. This is used in a lot of civil engineering projects like highways and river beds because it’s long-lasting. The design is such that boxes made of aluminium mesh and PVC coating (to prevent rusting) are filled with granite and built four metres in height from the bottom. This strengthens the bund. There is a lot of digging involved because of which the path will also be laid again. Discussions are on whether to use granite, cobblestone or mud for this.”

Anand adds, “The time period given is six months. Two months are already up and the work is going on time. Walkers and those using the gym will just have to bear with the construction for a few more months.”

The BBMP engineer-in-charge of the project says that the technology being employed is the best for embankment constructions. “We tried a variety of methods but this is the best way to retain the water level of the lake. The materials being used will not rust and are of high tensile strength. We’re only focussing on the western side of the lake now but have put in tenders for the eastern side too,” informs the engineer.
Ravi Kumar, a construction worker at the site, feels that the work will be completed in two months. “We started working a month ago and have to finish re-laying the road and fixing the bund wall. Beautification along the path is also required. We’re progressing at a good pace but there’s still a lot of work left,” he says.

Walkers have mixed opinions about the construction. Sucheta, a regular walker, says that while she misses the public gym, she is excited to see the outcome of the ongoing work. “Health-wise, it felt much better to finish a full round of the lake. But I’ve started walking on the other side to make up for that. I was addicted to the public gym, so it’s slightly annoying for me. I just hope it’s ready to be used again soon,” she says. The gym seems to be what is being missed the most, says Vaman, a senior citizen. “People my age don’t go to the gym and having the equipment in Sankey Tank was a boon. I’ve started going to the Low Level Public Park adjacent to the Sankey Tank to continue my workout,” he notes.

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