Pyuas were a distinctive feature across the public spaces in Mumbai. However, the British-era drinking fountains are now in dilapidated and non-functional conditions.
Four heritage pyaus (drinking water fountains) located inside Veermata Jijabai Bhosale Udyan and Zoo, also known as Rani Baug, are set to be revived along with a Koi fish pond. Over a year after it was first planned, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has submitted the restoration plan, worth Rs 2.21 crore of the four pyaus, for the standing committee’s approval.
The four pyaus include two named after Ardeshir Dadysett Pyau, and two others — the Khimji Mulji Randeria Pyau and Seth Samaldas Nasidas Pyau — that were constructed between 1903 and 1933.
BMC had floated the tender for restoration and repair of the ponds, and construction of the Koi fish pond, last year. The contract also includes comprehensive maintenance of these pyaus and fish pond for three years.
Three pyaus — the two Ardeshir Dadysett pyaus and the Khimji Mulji Randeria Pyau — will be restored to their old glory and public spaces will be created around them so visitors can sit and drink water from it.
The Nasidas Pyau, the lion-headed pyau, will be converted into a fountain and will be relocated near Veermata Jijabai’s statue, where the pond will be created for the Koi fish.
Koi fish is a decorative colourful species of fish. In Japan, the Koi fish symbolises prosperity, success and wealth. They are orange, yellow and blue in colour, and live 25 to 30 years.
These fountains are categorised as Grade 3 heritage structures, and were donated by Ardeshir Dadabhoy, Khimji Mulji Randeria and Seth Samaldas Nasidas.
Restoration work involves cleaning, repairing and dressing of stone masonry (Malad or Porbandar stones) and plaques, excavation of the area around, relaying it with cobblestones, adding filtration systems to provide potable water to visitors, setting up information plaques with QR codes, and ensuring uniform design.
Pyuas were a distinctive feature across the public spaces in Mumbai. However, the British-era drinking fountains are now in dilapidated and non-functional conditions. The BMCs heritage cell has proposed reviving around 30 pyaus across the city.
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