“The city of lakes” Ahmedabad had more than 200 lakes, as per the records but 70 have disappeared about a year ago at the place of those lakes there are empty patches of land and in some places buildings were built on the empty places. This is all because of AMC’s lack of strictness. Therefore, water gathers in the discouraged land places that were once lakes, causing water-signing in the monsoon.
This was found in a survey done by the engineering department of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation recently. The AMC drew up a plan about a year ago to develop and rejuvenate the 142 lakes that still had some potential — 49 of them in the first phase.
Of these, six-seven lakes are large and cover an area of more than 5 hectares, while 37 have area between 2-5 hectares and 98 of them are small, with less than 2 hectares area. The corporation decided it would be worthwhile to revive the ones with a larger area and let go of the smaller ones which had shrunk to being small garbage-filled pieces of land.
The ownership of the city’s lakes lies with the Ahmedabad collector, who should have guarded against encroachments on lakes and their general degradation. In order to develop them, the AMC would take possession of the lake land from the collector and clear them of encroachments, debris and garbage.
Congress councillor Rajshri Kesari of Chandkheda ward said, “There are two lakes on revenue records on IOC Road in Chandkheda – Jagnala lake and Sonpavdi lake. But they are filled up and are almost flat land now with no water. One lake has been reduced to a pond of dirty water. Rain water cannot be collected in this.”
The city’s many lakes could have absorbed all the excess rain water and prevented water-logging. But with these gone, the AMC has had to spend crores to lay storm water lines just to dispose of rain water, which could otherwise have flowed into lakes and raised the city’s groundwater level.
According to Independent councillor of Lambha Bharwad, “There are lakes in many villages in Lambha ward but most of them have dried up and turned into flat land due to the negligence of AMC. Several lakes have also been encroached by industrial units in areas like Piplaj, Saijpur and Narol. This is a serious matter and the AMC should free up these lands.”
Former councillor of Ramol-Hathijan ward, Atul Patel, said “Ramol-Hathijan area has a number of lakes. In fact Ramol has six, Hathijan three and Vinzol has one. Two of these have been partially encroached. Rain water can be stored for use if these lakes are revived and developed.”
49 lakes to be developed
Sources in the AMC’s engineering department said 49 lakes have been earmarked to be developed. A report has been prepared and put up for grants from the Centre. “A total of 142 lakes have been identified in the city, covering a combined area of 10.80 lakh sqmt. All of these cannot be developed simultaneously. In the first phase, we will develop and replenish lakes that have an area of more than 5 hectares. The process of taking possession of these from the collector’s office has started,” the official said.
Five lakes in Sola, Science City area dry now
Five lakes in Sola village and Science City area have got filled with soil and mud. At Dhuli lake near Sola village, a vegetable market has come up. There is a lake near Bhadaj which has disappeared. A small lake on Science City road near Heer party plot is partially encroached. Besides, a lake near Shukan Mall has got filled, and also one in Ghatlodia village.
AUDA maintained lakes, AMC did not
Some lakes in former AUDA areas were included in city limits in 2007. AUDA developed lakes at Vastrapur, Chandlodia, RC Technical College, Memnagar and Malav, but AMC has not done anything to develop other lakes.