Lonar lake’s preservation suffers due to inaction

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Aug 2017 10:32:29


Legal Correspondent,

After perusing the submission of proceedings of the High Court Committee’s meetings held on April 8 and May 19, 2017 to consider preservation of the historic and naturally formed Lake at Lonar in Buldhana district coupled with an eye of its promotion as a tourist spot by undertaking beautification project, Justice Vasanti Naik and Justice Arun Upadhye at the High Court have adjourned hearing of the writ petition filed by Pune-based lawyer Kirti Nipankar and two other citizens – Govind V Khekale (85) of Khamgaon and retired Principal of the Shivaji Junior College, Lonar, and President of the Lonar Sarovar Mitra Mandal, to a date after two weeks.

The minutes of the meetings of the High Court’s Committee headed by the Collector, Buldhana have been filed on affidavit. State Forest Secretary, the Director, Maharashtra Tourism Development Corporation, Mumbai, State Director of Archaeology and the Executive Engineer, State Irrigation Department, Buldhana, are other members on this committee.

Commenting on this affidavit, one of the three petitioners, Govind Khekale has submitted on affidavit, on behalf of all the petitioners that a sense of great disappointment has overwhelmed them to see that though there is lot of discussion at this committee’s meetings, but it has reached no conclusions and for want of concrete steps the cause of preserving and promoting conservation of Lonar lake as a prominent tourist spot is suffering immensely.

Though the Municipal Council, Lonar has informed the Tahsildar there, on July 27, 2017, regarding steps taken by it to prevent any waste material getting into the lake, but benefits from this will not be available without continuous monitoring of those steps. Regarding Lonar citizens’ rehabilitation, it has been stated in Khekale’s comments that handing over tenements to them has not been completed till date and whole thing is proceeding at a very slow pace. Lot of buck-passing is going on between the concerned Departments.

Due to failure of monsoon, level of water in the lake has gone down and stands reduced drastically, hence ancient Saasu-Sunechi Vihir is now visible. Now effective steps can be taken to prevent percolation of water in the lake with a view to safeguard the quality of water in the lake and the well also.

There is rampant killing of peacocks and theft of sandalwood trees. Hence, appropriate directions are required to the concerned authorities. Advocate Anand Parchure, Neelesh Kalwaghe and Addl GP Deepak Thakare represented the various parties including the State.