Sonegaon Lake: A beauty with blots

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 06 Sep 2018 09:40:40

(1)A panoramic view of sidewalk but it poses danger to walkers owing to absence of protection bars.

(2)Monsoon effect: An aerial view of Sonegaon lake that is filled to brim in aftermath of good rains in city during the rainy season this year

 

By Sagar Mohod,

A legacy of Bhonsla Kingdom, Sonegaon lake is a shining example of what public participation can do. Just when one was thinking that its days were numbered, the efforts of local politicians and activists have given the lake a new lease of life. And today one has to visit the Sonegaon’s bank and see the transformation for oneself. The lake is now filled to brim, helped by good amount of rains this year and presents a sight to behold for visitors.


Such conservation efforts need to be in an organised way and ensure that the heritage is well preserved. The improvement in storage level at lake is solely due to desilting work carried out during the period of last two years. No wonder the lake today is radiating with beauty adding wealth to its surroundings.

 

(1) Breach in Dam The breach in embankment of Sonegaon lake on Western side poses flood threat to nearby localities
(2) Immersion Point: The artificial tank constructed by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to facilitate immersion of idols located on Eastern side of the lake remains neglected.

 


As the lake got rejuvenated water looks pristine and clear. Although this sounds good, yet one does not see Sonegaon shaping up as a tourist destination, a place for people to drive down and spend quality time in evening. Off late people do visit the lake side during the day, but their numbers is countable on fingers, indicating a need for overall improvement in its surroundings so as to make it an charming spot.


Barring the Swami Vivekanand Memorial at the overflow point of Ambazari Lake, city lacks places to hang around during the evening or on public holidays. So all the crowd goes to either Futala Lake or at Ambazari overflow point which often gets crowded making it difficult to enjoy the nature or spent time with family. The little bit development at Ambazari has worked wonders and same needs to be put in practice for other water bodies of city and more particularly at Sonegaon lake side.


Families in city long to visit place to wind down, as public spots are not that much in vogue in city. Given the stress building-up in urban life style, the city desperately needs to offer a place where families and individuals alike can drive down and get refreshed. And what better place that lakes, and fortunately city is dotted with water bodies located in different parts. They just need to be spruced-up and developed as idyllic spots.


At present, Sonegaon lake is perfectly suited for a leisurely walk provided the little bit of space along the banks is developed and landscaped in a planned manner. Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) officials need to prepare a master plan to ensure amenities at lake side are increased to increase visitors footfalls. The Sonegaon lake is spread over 20 Ha area and was dug-up during Bhonsla period for serving its Army that used to stationed there. Sonegaon that was served as base and cavalry regiment used to be located here and for them the lake was created.


Fortunately, Sonegaon that way was left untouched by pollution as immersion was not allowed in it since past few years. For the lake the separation of immersion point for idols paid rich dividend. Earlier, people used to immerse the idols of Lord Ganesh in substantial numbers directly into the lake. Later, the building of a separate pond on the Eastern side of Sonegaon lake ensured that it is spared of pollution. The Southern embankment is built of black stones that one sees in Gandhi Gate and other structures of Mahal and steps are also built in on this side.


However, the embankment on the Western side of the Sonegaon lake needs to be fortified to prevent soil erosion and ensure that water remains in it throughout the year. At present, the water on this side is shallow as desilting was restricted to middle portion. A row of houses are just stone throw away from the Southern tip of the lake while Northern tip is a dense forest. The construction frenzy around Sonegaon lake is the real threat to its existence as the natural flow of water has stopped. Once upon a time the lake had three intake wells from which water was tunneled downstream but now the constructions have erased this water channel.


The overflow of water is now done through the Northern tip of the lake but the site is not suitable for the same and yet nothing is done to rectify the fault. Fortunately there is no construction on Northern side and scientific planning is needed to keep the overflow point in proper shape to prevent flooding of the housing colonies that have sprang-up along side Sonegaon lake.


Earlier the storm water from airport used to flow into the Sonegaon lake but now that channel to has stopped as Airport Authority of India (AAI) officials has diverted it. This water during the time of rainy season was the heart and soul of the lake and helped in keep it replenished.

 

Efforts of Sandeep Joshi, Prakash Bhoyar paid off

The desilting work at Sonegaon Lake was carried out under the leadership of Sandeep Joshi, Ruling Party of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC), and Prakash Bhoyar, Chairperson, Laxminagar Zone of NMC. Both had taken-up Sonegaon lake rejuvenation work as a challenge and to showcase it as model of development work of ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).


Bhoyar while talking to The Hitavada said that they are elated that their efforts have paid off, the water storage increased in the lake. The desilting work was carried out under expert guidance to ensure that water body is rejuvenated.


He further informed that NMC has prepared a master plan for beautification and development of Sonegaon lake and its surroundings has been prepared. The plan is worth Rs 17 crores and we have sought funds from Maharashtra Government and have forwarded the file to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis. Bhoyar also added that deepening work would continue this year also.