Revival in sight for Badkhal lake

  • 19 Sep 2015
  • Hindustan Times (Delhi)

A marathon meeting of experts and senior officials was held recently to discuss ways to bring the lake and the surrounding area back to life

A plan to revive Badkhal lake that has gone dry over the years seems to be on track. During the last a few days, several meetings with the experts have taken place to suggest ways and methods on how to revive it. During his recent rally in Badkhal constituency, chief minister Manohar Lal, too, promised that his government was in the process of finding a solution for the revival of this once-famous lake.

A meeting of experts was held a few days ago which among others was attended by Faridabad deputy commissioner Amit Aggarwal, chief parliamentary secretary, Badkhal le gislator Seema Trikha, Faridabad MLA Vipul Goel and renowned experts like Dr DK Chadha, former Chairman of Central Ground Water Board and president of Global Hydrogeological Solutions besides some locals of Badkhal area.

The experts put forth numerous reasons for the drying up of the lake and these included Declining rainfall patterns; Reducing surface runoff into the lake bed because of changes in the water flow pathways due to mining in the catchment; Changes in the hydrogeology that has increased infiltration rates in the lake bed; and Decline in ground water levels downstream of the lake has increased infiltration levels.

It may be mentioned that Faridabad city, flanked by the Aravalli hills to the west and Yamuna river to the east is dependent almost completely on ground water for its drinking water supplies. Thus, Faridabad’s hills, ponds, nullahs, lakes and rivers all play a role in ensuring supply of drinking water and its sustainability and form important ecological assets that underpin the city.

“This was our initial meeting on revival of Badkhal lake and we are hopeful we will accomplish this task,” said Dr DK Chadha, former chairman of Central Ground Water Board and president of Global Hydrogeological Solutions. Commenting on the pre-feasibility study on the issue, he said that the objective of the prefeasibility study for revival of Badkhal Lake is to give the details of the various possibilities for its restoration and long term sustainability. “It will also help to ascertain the road map and the database created will be useful for the preparation of DPR or action plan for restoration of the Lake."

He said scope of the work which will be undertaken in this pre-feasibility study is: 1) Geological and Hydrogeological mapping of the area. The geological studies include study of fracture pattern and lineaments to be taken for catchments classification. Besides it include existing data base to be used for water balance study.

2) Geophysical survey and identification of deep aquifer zone. Drilling of pilot bore hole, infiltration test, topographical survey etc to be carried out in the lake area.

3) Remote sensing study— Digital elevation maps to be generated along with the digitized maps of area and same to be used for drainage and other geomorphic analysis. GIS based maps to be generated for impact assessment and suggestive restoration. The periodical satellite images obtained from Google Earth of Badkhal lake for last decade to be used for assessing the reduced submergence area.

4) To study the possible linkages and to transfer the water from the other lakes and to estimate the quantity of treated water that can be used, runoff potential, utilization potential, storage in lake.

5) Long term rainfall data of the area to be collected for analysis and 6) Design of recharge structures feasible for creating additional storage into the lake.

“There is a CM announcement also regarding revival of this lake and we thought we need to begin preliminary work how to restore this once prestigious lake and this meeting was held in that context,” said Amit Aggarwal, deputy commissioner, Faridabad. “I don’t want people to question me after five years of my tenure as MLA that you did nothing for revival of this lake,” said Seema Trikha, MLA Badhkal assembly constituency who also happens to be Chief Parliamentary Secretary looking after Tourism department.

“Once the DPR is made, we will send it to state government for funds,” said Aggarwal, the deputy commissioner. A number of suggestions came from the audience including the media and experts but the Dr DK Chadha explained in detail how suggestions have to be backed by scientific studies. He said since the political leadership and the district administration was interested in revival of this lake, this work will be accomplished saying revival of this lake was easy as compared to others Lakes, which too have gone dry.

Interestingly, before this meeting, another expert from Irrigation department, Haryana government visited Badkhal Lake along with Union minister and Faridabad MP Krishan Pal Gurjar and Seema Trikha, MLA Badhkal. The expert Sandeep Taneja claimed that he could revive the dry lake with funds of Rs 5 crore. “Revival of this lake is easy and would require only Rs 5 crore,” he told HT on phone after visiting the lake.

Haryana tourism minister Ram Vilas Sharma too visited this lake situated in the lap of Aravalli hills some time ago triggering speculation that government was devising a policy to revive this lake.

Though, previous government came up with some plans to revive this lake in the last a few years but nothing on the ground changed. Now after the change of guard in Haryana, the new government seems deter mined to formulate a policy about revival of this once prestigious lake and bring it back to its glory. In this connection, Haryana Tourism minister Ram Bilas Sharma infor med on floor of Legislative assembly in March in response to question by Seema Trikha, Member of Legislative Assembly from Badkhal Assembly that this lake in Faridabad will be revived along with Panchkula's Morni Hills up to Mehandergarh fort in Mehandergarh and 'Dosi ka pahad' area.

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