Uttarakhand News

Nainital Lake gets a boon of life by Govt: Irrigation Department to revive the lake

The ever so beautiful and serene, Naini Lake a “precious jewel of Kumaon” is one of the most popular tourist spots in Uttarakhand. Cradled in the midst of Nainital town, the responsibility of this lake has now been transferred from the Public Works Department (PWD) to the Irrigation Department due to the concerns being kept for its maintenance and falling water levels. On Monday, the government of Uttarakhand announced that the transfer of maintenance of the lake from PWD to Irrigation Department has brought up several issues related to the degradation of the lake. Silt and debris have encircled the lake and its level has fallen drastically over the past few years.

A PWD official gave an account of its recent report, which suggests that Naini Lake having a maximum depth of 27 feet is now just 18.5 feet below normal. PWD Junior Engineer, Mahendra Pal said that “Ahead of the monsoon, the lake have been dry for two years now”. He further added that in June 2016, the water level was reduced to 19 feet below.

The deteriorating state of the Naini lake is now being linked to tourism and rampant construction

Construction of new houses, commercial projects, cemented roads running through the forests surrounding the lake has reduced the catchment area. In addition to this, the heavy tourist inflow has also contributed to degradation. Adding to this, the state tourism secretary, R Meenakshi Sundaram, said that the department is working on decentralizing tourism so that tourists don’t crowd the hill towns, including Nainital, especially during summers and weekends.

DC Singh, Chief Engineer of the Kumaon Zone said that soon after taking the responsibility, the irrigation department will work on reviving and restoring the natural state of the lake. The department will take effective steps on the basis of the surveys that are to be done by organizations like Roorkee-based National Institute of Hydrology and the Geological Survey of India.

Src: Financial Express