Unplanned urbanisation taking its toll on water bodies of city

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Jun 2018 09:24:42


By Manish Soni,

Unplanned urbanisation is taking its toll on the water bodies of city, that are dying a slow death. More particularly the encroachment near lakes and improper development of sewage network are the prime cause for choking the lakes. Nagpur was once known for its pristine lakes that spawned a large part of land mass but neglect of over the years not only shrinked it but city is struggling to protect the wetland that is must to maintain the ecological balance.

State Government and local authorities are equally responsible for the sorry state of affairs of lakes as they never gave preference to maintenance of water bodies. During the last 10 years Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) did take some interest to rejuvenate 12 lakes in city but it will take more sincere efforts to give them new lease of life. The city is dotted with historical Sonegaon Lake, Ambazari Lake, Futala Lake, Gandhi Sagar Lake, Sakkardara Lake, Naik Lake, Lendi Lake, Police Tank in Police Line Takli, Pandhrabodi Lake, Budhwari Lake, Gorewada Lake and Pardi lake. The city has three rivers namely- Nag River- a signature river from which city's name has been derived, Pili River and Pora River.

Nag River was once a lifeline of the city as Raje Raghuji Bhosale used to taken a dip in the Nag River and later pay obeisance at Lord Shiva's Temple located at sangam of Nag River in Sitabuldi. Due to apathy of citizens and authorities the river has been reduced to open gutter.

Mohammed Israil, Chief of Lake and River Rejuvenation Plan of NMC, while talking to The Hitavada said, civic body is serious about cleaning the river and we are working to maintain ecological balance of city.

NMC has decided to rejuvenate water bodies of the city. It had prepared a detailed project report (DPR) in year 2006-2007 through experts of environment field. As per report, the lakes were polluted due to dumping of solid waste, opening of sewer lines in them and also due to immersion of idols. The master plan has suggested several short terms and long terms goals to preserve these water bodies. Cash strapped NMC has submitted this plan to Maharashtra Government and sought grants to implement the same. The Government has directed NMC to submit separate DPRs for each of the lakes.

As per the Government directives, NMC has prepared DPR of Sonegaon Lake, Gandhi Sagar Lake, Ambazari Lake and Futala Lake. The DPR was submitted to the government in the year 2008 for funding under State Lake Conservation Plan (SLCP). State has sanctioned funds of Rs 1.78 crore for rejuvenation of Gandhi Sagar Lake and Rs 3.28 crore for Sonegaon Lake.

Sonegaon: The civic body had completed rejuvenation work of Sonegaon Lake in the year 2014. But the efforts proved to little as Sonegaon Lake gets dried-up during Summer. To conserve the lake, civic body has constructed a special idol immersion tank for the devotees to preserve lake from hazardous chemicals. Meanwhile, NMC has began another process to desilt the lake and restore it to its yesteryear's beauty.

Gandhi Sagar: At Gandhi Sagar Lake, the NMC has constructed a special immersion tank inside the lake and also placed nirmalya collection bins. The civic body also had previously conducted an experiment wherein the lake water was chemically treated. The total cost of the project is Rs 4.95 crore and State Government has released Rs 75 lakh till now.

Pandhrabodi: State Government has also sanctioned Rs 3.33 crore for the development of Pandhrabodi lake. The civic body has deepened the water basin to increase its storage capacity. An open channel has been constructed on its banks to collect the water flowing down from hillock of Laxminarayan Institute of Technology (LIT) premises and it has capacity of 5 lakh liter. This water will be used during summer when the lake dries up.

Naik Talao: The civic body has also prepared a plan to rejuvenate Naik Talao situated in North Nagpur. The lake presently is in worst condition due to encroachment and throwing of garbage. The NMC has prepared a DPR of Rs 2.75 crore to rejuvenate the lake. State Government has directed civic body to remove encroachment from the sides of Lendi Talav. The Zone Office has demarcated the boundaries of the lake and encroachments will be removed very soon.

State Government has forwarded the proposals of Futala and Ambazari Lakes Centre for financial assistance under ambitious Lake Rejuvenation Plan.


Central Govt clears Nag River plan

Central Government has cleared ambitious Nag River Abatement Plan of Rs 1,252 crore recently and now it is under consideration of Japan International Co-operation Agency (JICA), a financial agency of Japan. Nag River has two tributaries- Pili River and Bor Nala while its main source is from Ambazari Lake.

A team of IIT Roorkee had suggested short term measures and long term measures to stop flow of sewer in Nag River. Every year NMC cleans all three rivers and 400 plus nullahs in the city.

The process is going on since 2013. The sewage abatement plan will get 60 percent funds of Central Government, 25 percent funds of State Government while balance 15 percent funds will be contributed by local body. The Central and State Governments are trying to get soft loan from JICA.