Bhopal: The Bhopal Citizens’ Forum, an organisation of eminent residents of Bhopal who raises issues related to the city, on Monday urged the administration and authorities concerned to take effective measures to conserve Upper Lake. The organisation lead by its convenor Harish Bhawnani held a press conference on Monday at a city-based restaurant.
“The conservation and protection of the Upper Lake is important because it supplies water to about 40% households of the city. Many meetings and projects were held for its protection and measures were drawn for the same but it seems that they are hardly being implemented,” said Bhawnani.
He said that India being a signatory of ‘Ramasar Convention’ which is regarding the conservation lakes around the world, the administration has not followed the directions of the convention in preserving the Upper Lake. “Under the Ramsar Convention there are 25 lakes of the India which falls under it. Out of the 25 lakes, only Upper Lake in Bhopal is being used for water supply to the homes in the city. The convention says that there should be no discharge of solid waste into the lakes along with no discharge of untreated waste water into it,” said Bhawnani.
Another member of the organisation and heritage preservationist, retired IRS, AC Chandra while speaking to Free Press said that among the many directions for the lake’s preservation, one was to avoid farming with fertilizers in the catchment area of the Lake.
“The directions say that the farmers should do only organic farming in the catchment area of the lake but nothing is done in that regard”, said Chandra. .
“Since all the other 24 lakes in the list are not used for water supply to homes, recreational activities have been allowed in them. Here too, it is allowed with the prior permission of the authorities allowing motorboats to run on them. But the problem is they are running on diesel fuel which poses a great threat to the quality of the water of the lake. It should be completely banned and instead battery powered boats should be allowed on them,” said Chandra adding that all the 14 nullahs which disposes waste water in the lake were to be installed with waste water treatment plants but so far only five have been installed with the treatment plants since 1996.
Another member of the organisation, retired IPS, Arun Gurtoo said, “The government should take measures for the conservation and protection of the Upper Lake at its earliest,”.