Published On: Thu, Mar 30th, 2017

Naini lake will transform into pond in 60 years if no action is taken warn experts

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Nainital: Environment experts have predicted that the Naini Lake here will turn into a mere pond in the coming 60 years if the issue of less water in the lake is not addressed immediately.

The observation of specialists based in Nainital came after the water level of the Naini Lake reached a record -3.3 feet below the average level of water today even before the onset of summers.

“The water level of the lake reached this low in May and June till last year. This is an alarming situation as the lake attracts over 4 lakh tourists in summers and sustains thousands of families based on this trade,” said Ravindra Pandey, a Nainital-based journalist, quoting sources from the lake control cell based at Talital.

Professor GL Shah, who has been doing research on the Naini Lake from the past 30 years, said the situation of the lake had deteriorated after the successive governments and residents neglected it.

The steps that went against the lake included cutting of oak trees situated in its catchment region, heavy construction and blockage of percolation of rainwater level due to construction in the Sukhatal catchment region.

“The way of 62 drains, constructed by the British to drain rainwater from hills to the lake, has also been blocked as people have constructed houses,” said Professor Shah, a former professor in the Geography Department of Kumaon University.

He said the rainwater percolation into the lake from the Sukhatal catchment region and the hills at the background were the main source of water which fell into the lake through the drains constructed by British after the 1880 landslide in the city.

“These drains have been reduced to less than half of their original number and more are on the way to be damaged, causing blockage of rainwater and resulting into this situation of less than average water in the lake two months before the summer season,” Professor Shah added.

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