Sakkardara Lake: A testimony of civic body’s neglect

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Sep 2018 08:01:13

Bushes that have grown on banks of the the historic Sakkardara lake Right Heap of plastic garbage dumped on the steps of once beautiful lake


By Dheeraj Fartode,

Built as a recreational place during the times of Bhonsla Kingdom that spawned from Nagpur to Bengal, the 18th century Sakkardara lake today is testimony to history of neglect that is characteristic of every other heritage structure in the country. Lack of pride of Nagpurians to institutions and water bodies built during yesteryears have turned them into graveyard of urban devastation, leaving little for next generation to feel proud about the city. No wonder places that could easily been preserved and proudly presented as rich heritage of past and proudly passed onto Gen Next, is today wailing at its fall from grace.


(1)Heap of vegetable garbage around the Sakkardara lake has made it look like a dumpyard.
(2) Polluted water of Sakkardara lake covered with hyacinth and garbage has taken away all its natural beauty


A visit to Sakkardara lake, one of the many water bodies of city, reveals utter lack of maintenance and indicates who care attitude of masses and that of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) which freely inherited the past. And as they say whatever one gets free ends up in disdain and Sakkardara lake is its perfect example. But blaming civic body itself will be total injustice, its the society that grew around the shores of Sakkardara lake too are equally or more or less the first one to blame for reducing the lake to a garbage dump.

 The unsafe ‘safety’ walls


The lake also poses danger for the children as iron grills of the compound walls have been damaged since a year Sources informed that some anti-social elements have stolen the iron grills


Today, the lake is full of silt, plastic waste, and garbage that lay strewn around wherever one sets sight and the stink emanating from it perhaps makes us hang our heads in shame. Over the years the lake started falling on bad times as no one had time or even concern. It would not be wrong to say, that society as a whole is responsible for the mess that Sakkardara lake today is. We are collectively working to erase its identity.

NMC needs to take steps to rejuvenate the lake and first step needed is to desilt it as present water storage has become totally polluted. Whenever one passes by side of lake, the foul smell emanating makes one cringe as it become overpowering. The desilting can help in activating the ground aquifers as at presence the hyacinth that has overtaken the lake is only choking it further. The polluted water has also become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The removal of weeds and small plants that has grown all over the lake can help penetrate the oxygen and purify the water.

On the Eastern side of the lake, steps have been built but sadly the sight there only showcase the mindset of society that we live in today. People have littered the steps with garbage, caring two hoots to its aesthetic beauty. The steps were built using the walua stones and at many places it have gone missing or has been defiled by miscreants.

Sufal Vaidya, President, Sakkardara Shopkeepers Association, said that he had never seen such worst condition of the lake. It has been reduced to a dumping ground for garbage by one and all. Vaidya's shop is near the lake and he said it becomes difficult to stand as stench during morning and evening hours is overbearing. The lake once was a beautiful destination for morning evening walkers. Now the lake is dying due to lack of maintenance and moreover due to negligence, " he stated further.

Another resident Shyam Thorat said that people were fed-up of ill-maintenance of the lake. Entire Sakkardara area is facing menace of mosquitoes and vector-borne disease due to the weeds in the lake. "Some nearby residents and commercial establishments are also liberally dumping garbage in the lake. The civic administration should take stern action against such persons," he demanded.


Den of anti-social elements

People living near the lake said that anti-social elements sit on the banks of the lake during night hours and consume liquor and smoke Ganja. "We have complained to Sakkardara police about the anti-social activities but they have turned a blind eye to it, they further said.