Given up for dead for the last 30 years, the Yamuna Lake in Lucknow’s Aishbagh area has got a new lease of life.
Satvinder Pal Singh Randhawa, an expert who has flown in from California, is scripting the turnaround for the lake, which once was the playground of nawabs.
“We are pumping oxygen into the dead waters,” said Randhawa. In 2011, the Lucknow Development Authority roped in the Overseas Citizen of India to rescue the 25-acre lake.
The city’s largest water body is now showing signs of life and the stench associated with it is disappearing. The grateful people of Aishbagh have started calling Randhawa, 61, “Dr Lake”.
Randhawa is credited with reviving Naini Lake in Nainital, Pushkar’s Mansarovar and Ana Sagar Lake in Ajmer.
“Nothing feels better than witnessing a dead lake return to life,” said Randhawa. “The state of Yamuna Jheel, however, was terrible, perhaps the worst I have dealt with.”
Randhawa began work in April. He had to break through almost seven feet of muck before oxygen could be pumped into the lake.
“The oxygen breaks the organic matter from anaerobic state into aerobic state, which gives the lake a new life,” he said.
Randhawa’s work on Yamuna Lake is likely to end in September, following which the Lucknow Development Authority plans to nourish the reborn water body.