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EPCO help sought to revive City lakes

NOT TOO long ago, Bilawali, Sirpur and Limbodi furnished a significant portion of the City?s non-drinking water needs, with their contents even being used for potable purposes in a pinch.

india Updated: Jun 05, 2006 00:33 IST

NOT TOO long ago, Bilawali, Sirpur and Limbodi furnished a significant portion of the City’s non-drinking water needs, with their contents even being used for potable purposes in a pinch.

Over the years, however, the three lakes have witnessed steady depletion of water levels, caused by tree felling and encroachments in the catchment area. Things reached a stage where not a single drop of water was available this year from Bilawali, which, until recently, supplied two million gallons of water to the City everyday.

Concerned, the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) is seeking help from Environmental Planning and Coordination Organisation (EPCO) to revive and beautify the century-old water bodies.

Mayor Dr Uma Shashi Sharma recently wrote to Urban Administration Development Minister Jayant Malaiya seeking clearance to commission the Organisation for preparing a blueprint to deepen the lakes to enhance storage capacity.

In her letter, the Mayor pointed out that the move would provide an economical method to stave off water scarcity in the case of Bilawali, while in Sirpur it would aid environmental improvement by providing more hospitable surroundings to the thousands of migratory birds that flock the lake each year.

Elaborating, the Mayor pointed out that water supply costs from Bilawali were a fraction of those imposed by Narmada. Therefore, it wais imperative that optimum exploitation of reserves was ensured, she stressed. Reserves of the three lakes have fallen continuously for the past few years owing to scanty rainfall and construction on the catchment area.

Bilawali, added the letter, was primarily fed by Limbodi lake and Rau channel. Water reserves in both of these water bodies have, however, fallen owing to the construction of the Bypass Road and accumulation of silt respectively, she added.

The Mayor concluded with an appeal to the Minister to allow the hiring of EPCO for preparing the deepening and beautification proposal as it boasted the necessary technical know-how and manpower. Bilawali, (spread over 3.35 sq km with a storage of 587 cubic feet and a 47 sq km catchment area) and Limbodi (0.26 sq km large, storage capacity 15 cubic feet, catchment area 47 sq km) were built by the Holkars in 1906.

Sirpur Lake, located on the City outskirts and spread over 0.64 square kilometres with a 36 sq km catchment area, was built in the year 1900 and expanded a decade later.

First Published: Jun 05, 2006 00:33 IST