Sewage pond called Mansarovar

To re­store Shah­pura lake, also known as Mansarovar, Bhopal Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion must in­no­vate its sewage treat­ment sys­tem Ur­bLanakes

Down to Earth - - URBAN LAKES - DOWN TO EARTH SUSH­MITA SEN­GUPTA |

THE MU­NIC­I­PAL author­ity of Bhopal is scram­bling to save the im­age of the lake city, lit­er­ally. Since Septem­ber last year, they have been fran­ti­cally re­mov­ing sludge,al­gae and wa­ter hy­acinth from Shah­pura lake,one of the most pol­luted lakes of Bhopal.They are also in­stalling metal mesh around the lake to pre­vent plas­tic waste and other de­bris from en­ter­ing into it.The lake will re­gain its glory by April 2016, claim of­fi­cials of the Bhopal Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion (bmc).

Shah­pura lake, also called Mansarovar, came into be­ing in 1974-1975 af­ter an earthen dam was built near Chun­ab­hatti vil­lage in the south­ern part of Bhopal un­der the Betwa ir­ri­ga­tion scheme.Sur­rounded by hillocks,it be­came the third im­por­tant lake in Bhopal af­ter the Up­per and Lower lakes. Peo­ple started depend­ing on it for drink­ing wa­ter, ir­ri­ga­tion and pis­ci­cul­ture. Within a few years,hous­ing colonies re­placed the hillocks and en­croached the lake’s catch­ment area, span­ning 8.29 sq km.By early 2000s,the lake turned into a sewage pond. Peo­ple living in the sur­round­ing ar­eas re­peat­edly com­plained of the stench to bmc but to lit­tle avail.bmc’s re­cent at­tempt to clean the lake be­gan fol­low­ing an or­der by the Na­tional Green Tri­bunal (ngt),which was hear­ing a pe­ti­tion by Bhopal-based en­v­i­ron- men­tal­ist Sub­hash Chan­dra Pandey in 2011. Pandey had stated that the lake wa­ter has been se­verely con­tam­i­nated by raw sewage.

Lab­o­ra­tory anal­y­sis of the lake wa­ter gives cre­dence to the com­plaints.Ac­cord­ing to Mad­hya Pradesh’s Bureau of De­signs for Hy­del and Ir­ri­ga­tion (bodhi), bi­o­log­i­cal oxy­gen de­mand (bod) of the lake wa­ter was 19.2 mg/lil­tre dur­ing 2011-12.Go­ing by the stan­dard set by the Cen­tral Pol­lu­tion Con­trol Board, wa­ter with such high bod level is not suit­able even for bathing. Har­ish Chan­dra Kataria,chem­istry pro­fes­sor at the Gov­ern­ment Gee­tan­jali Girls P G

Shah­pura Lake ap­pears clean fol­low­ing ini­tial restora­tion work of the Bhopal Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion. There are still

con­cerns about its wa­ter qual­ity

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