Nainital: Although Uttarakhand government handed over Naini lake's maintenance to Irrigation department but lack of funds has adversely affected the maintenance of lake, security walls and the its feeder nullahas around it. Even 3 crore announced by the chief minister TS Rawat last year is yet to be delivered to the Irrigation department.
Naini Lake's Maintenance
While former lake maintenance agency PWD had four junior engineers in its roll along with a gang of 28 employees but surprisingly Irrigation department has only 1 Junior Engineer to look after the entire job. The new department is yet to recruit the employees for the gang of labourers.
The departmental sources told that the DPR for 3 crore is ready and another DPR for 7 crore is also being prepared under Amrit Plan. This money will be utilised to maintain lake and repair security walls, drainage gates and remove dirt from the lake. The wetland area is also proposed to be protected and electronic gates will be put in place of 168 year old British era stone gates to drain excess of water during rainy season and mantain proper water level round the year.
To recall, last year the water level of Naini lake had gone down to an alarmingly low level. Not only local populace but also state government, too, was concerned about it. Even the PMO took cognizance and sought detailed report from the state chief secretary.
Then the government swung into action and roped in scientists of IIT Roorki, Indian Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Dehradun and National Institute of Hydrology, Dehradun, to find out the real cause of lowering water level and prepare DPR for the conservation of Naini lake. The scientists have started their survey. Soon after that the work of maintaining lake was assigned to Irrigation department instead of PWD.
Due to shortage of funds the lake conservation work including removal of filth has not yet been started while PWD used to complete it by now. If such a situation continues for long, further damage to lake and its surroundings can't be ruled out.