State irrigation department chalks up Rs 13 crore plan to rejuvenate water bodies in Nainital
The state irrigation department has drawn up a Rs 13 crore plan to rejuvenate water bodies in Nainital, including Naini lake, Bhimtal and Sattal.
Officials of the state irrigation department said that the project aims at cleaning and beautification of the lakes along with research and preservation of water bodies which have seen water levels dwindle, especially in the summers, because of increased demands on them.
Brijendra Singh, executive engineer of irrigation department, said, “The project will include Naini lake, Harishtal, Sattal, Naukuchiyatal, Bhimtal and various other water bodies in the district. We plan to clean the lakes of silt deposition and beautify and revive Sukhatal.”
The lake basin of Sukhatal will be provided with a protective wall to check encroachments. The Uttarakhand high court had ordered removal of encroachments around the water body in June. A detailed project report on the preservation and resurrection of the lake had been prepared by experts from geology department at IIT Roorkee. The report has been submitted to the state government and work is expected to begin next month.
Earlier, government officials and environmentalists had sounded caution after water level in Naini lake was found to have plunged 14 feet below normal. Experts said less winter rain along with encroachment in catchment areas as well as increased pressure on the lake to fulfill water requirements of the rising number of residents and tourists are the factors responsible for the decrease in water level. In order to tackle water shortage in the hill town, the district administration has put a stay on all construction activity in the town.