Two weeks into summer, Sukhna Lake starts drying up again | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Two weeks into summer, Sukhna Lake starts drying up again

It has been just two weeks into this year’s summer but parts of the Sukhna Lake have already started drying up. This has set alarming bells ringing again for the administration that has been trying to save the water body from going dry.

punjab Updated: Apr 15, 2017 11:06 IST
Vivek Gupta
A drying up Sukhna Lake bed on Friday
A drying up Sukhna Lake bed on Friday(Karun Sharma/HT Photo)

It has been just two weeks into this year’s summer but parts of the Sukhna Lake have already started drying up.

This has set alarming bells ringing again for the administration that has been trying to save the water body from going dry.

The pumping of nearly 2 MGD (million gallons daily) of potable water from seven tubewells for over a month in January following the Punjab and Haryana high court’s order does not seems to have worked much. The evaporation of water from the lake is already happening at a fast pace with the city temperature having nearly touched the 40-degree mark.

The UT administration will have to see how they plan to save the lake from the looming crisis in the days to come.

The part of the Sukhna lake where the authorities have put a scale to measure the water level. (Karun Sharma/HT Photo)

The water level on Friday came down to 1153.75 feet (from the sea level) on the scale. The water level on the scale is not to be confused with the lake’s depth which currently is not more than 2-3 feet in nearly half of its portion towards the rear side (regulator’s end) and 4-5 feet at the front side where boating is allowed.

If the water level goes down to 1151-foot mark, the entire lake bed will be visible. When the scale touches 1163-foot mark, the authorities open the gates to move the surplus water out. Ideally, the lake’s depth is 13 feet.

While senior UT officials say they can only hope for an early and good rainfall, their efforts are far from satisfactory.

For instance, over 10,000 litres are pumped out of the lake everyday to water the lawns located nearby, which can be avoided with an alternate system.

LAST TIME, SUFFICIENT WATER WAS IN 2012

It was in 2012 last when the lake got sufficient water from its catchment area after a good rainfall. Since then, the lake is facing a crisis. While many put the blame on the construction of a number of check dams in the upper range of Sukhna, others are unhappy over an increased urbanisation in its catchment area, causing disturbance in the water bodies.

Much of the blame is also to be shared by the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

The Delhi high court’s Wednesday order setting aside an environmental clearances to the high-rise Tata Camelot project behind the lake has triggered a fresh debate on preserving the lake’s catchment area by controlling rapid urbanisation in the area.

Mainly, the lake’s catchment area comprises Kaimbwala and Krishangarh in Chandigarh; Kansal village in Punjab and Saketri village in Haryana.

‘THE LAKE WATER IS EVAPORATING FAST’

Officials looking after the lake said if the current trend of water receding continues for another one-and-a-half months, the lake might virtually dry up.

“If the water level of the lake goes below 1152 feet (from the sea level) on the scale, it will not be possible to allow boating in the lake. Water is evaporating fast,” said an official.