Govt urged to declare Nainital as eco-sensitive zone to protect Naini Lake
Concerned over depletion of Nainital Lake’s water-level, experts have asked the state government to declare Nainital as an eco-sensitive zone and bar any construction work near the water bodyUpdated: Jun 14, 2017 19:40 IST
Concerned over depletion of Nainital Lake’s water-level, experts have asked the state government to declare Nainital as an eco-sensitive zone and bar any construction work near the water body.
The proposals were made at a recent meeting between officials from the state government and experts. The water-level of lake this year has drastically gone down to minus seven feet, triggering a major concern.
Thousands of local residents on June 3 joined a barefoot walk from Gandhi statue to Pant statue on the Mall Road to highlight the lake’s dying condition.
Rakesh Kumar, national additional secretary of United Nations Development Programme and a participant at the meeting, said they would look at the suggestions put forth by the experts.
He also informed that the UNDP would now involve itself in the rejuvenation of the lake. He also stressed on the fact that the rain water should flow unhindered to the lake.
Historian Ajay Rawat said problems concerning the Nainital lake had been catalysed by unabated construction.
“Excessive construction has been done on the Green belt and 30% of the problem will be solved if group housing is discouraged,” he said. “We had pressed the forest department for declaring Nainital as an eco-sensitive zone, but it has not fructified.”
HK Pandey, general manager of Jal Nigam, said average snowfall and rainwater level has come down which is one of the natural reasons for the lake’s present condition.
The meeting comes days after chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, during a visit to Nainital on June 9, granted ₹3 crore for conservation of the dying lake.
Describing conservation of the lake a top priority for his administration, the chief minister said this water body was not only a significant entity for people of Uttarakhand, but for world as well. He also announced transfer of the lake’s responsibility from the public works department to irrigation department.