BHOPAL : De-silting drive for Upper Lake conservation will be kicked off from Monday as water level is fast receding in the lake which is a lifeline of Bhopal. Bhopal mayor Alok Sharma, on Saturday, has appealed Bhopal people for cooperation in it.  Upper Lake is a man-made lake which has 361 sqkm catchment area and 36 sqkm surface area.

The mayor with other officials of Bhopal Municipal Corporation visited to take stock of water level and dried up areas from Bhadbhada side. The importance of this lake is established by the fact that it contributes about 50 per cent particularly to Walled City of drinking water to the urbanites of Bhopal.

In order to conserve the vitality of this lake, ‘Bhoj Wetland project’ was implemented. Lot of works for the conservation of Bhopal lakes has been undertaken. These include dredging and de-silting, catchment area treatment, sewage treatment schemes, solid waste management and other shore-line /fringe area management activities besides de-weeding, aquaculture and installation of floating fountains. The considerable improvement in the water quality and enhancement of the carrying capacity of the lake after implementation of the project clearly indicate its success.

In 1995, the Madhya Pradesh government initiated a Rs 2.5 billion project for the conservation of the wetland with the money borrowed from the Japanese Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC). In 2002, the Bhoj Wetland was recognised as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention of 1971.

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