The Times of India – UT doing nothing to save Sukhna lake, claim residents

Neha Sharma

Chandigarh, 2 May 2017. In 2011, the Chandigarh administration constituted a committee to save the Sukhna lake. In 2012, it had met and increased its strength from 9 members to 14. That meeting, six years ago, was its last.

This and other instances of administrative apathy came to light on Monday during the Sukhna lake hearing at the Punjab and Haryana high court.

Another issue that was repeatedly raised was how the administraion kept ignoring suggestions from the public. Last year, the High Court, which has been monitoring the case for eight years, had directed the Chandigarh administration to invite suggestions from the public to address the issue of depleting water in the lake, which is often considered the soul of the City Beautiful.

Some of the suggestions it received included the use of treated tertiary water, the digging of tubewells in the catchment area, and bringing water from Patiala Ki Rao. Others included clearing the Sukhna catchment area of dirt and garbage, as well as harvesting rainwater (during the monsoon), that could come to the rescue of the lake.

The administration’s refusal to take seriously any of this suggestions hasn’t gone down well with citizens, who have now come out and hit the UT hard. “This problem crops up every year, but the Chandigarh administration is doing nothing to save the lake,” said Ravi Malhotra, a resident of Sector 44.

“We need to get out on the streets to save the Sukhna lake,” said Nitin Sharma, a resident of Sector 22. “We need to put pressure on authorities and make it clear that the Sukhna lake means a lot to us.”

Meanwhile, the Chandigarh administration says that the tube-well proposal was considered. It transferred water from seven tube-wells near the Chandigarh golf course to Sukhna lake for around 40 days in January and February. A UT source said that this is suspended as of now because of the summer and the high demand of water in residential areas.

One citizen had suggested transporting water from Siswan dam, but to that, the administration lamented the 15 km distance between the dam and the lake. The other suggestion, to use treated tertiary water, was also turned down. “The quality of the waters doesn’t match,” it said, adding that this could affect the flora and fauna of the lake.


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