Desiltation of Sukhna- New efforts and advances

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INVC,,

Chandigarh,  Sukhna Lake was built in the year 1958 across Sukhna Choe and was conceived as a place of relaxation, seclusion and sport. The soil in the catchments area is sandy and embedded with pocket of clay which is highly susceptible to erosion by surface run-off. The slope of the hilly catchment area is very steep ranging from 30 degree to 75 degree. The flow in the seasonal streams is turbulent and exposed hill slopes result in massive soil erosion. All these reasons have, led to heavy siltation of the Sukhna Lake from 1958 to 1988. Initially no efforts were made to remove the silt coming from the catchment area of about 4,207 hectare during rainy season resulting in reduction of pondage capacity, loss of water carrying capacity of lake. The Chandigarh Administration took various initiatives to remove silt from the bed starting from the year 1990 by deploying machinery and also involving local residents in the shape of Shram Dan.

In addition, the Department of Forest and Wildlife also provided 192 silt retention dams and 200 check dams in the catchment area to prevent the flow of silt into the Lake bed coming through surface run-off during rainy season. Through flow of silt from the catchment area has reduced more than 140 to 5 tonne per hectare per year, even then, about 70 acre of silt dry patch area near regulator end can be seen inspite of efforts made by the Chandigarh administration to remove the silt from the Lake Bed in the past. In the last years amount of silt from Sukhna Lake was removed as under:

In the year 2007 0.67 lac cft

In the year 2008 2.14 lac cft

In the year 2009 7.75 lac cft

Now the Chandigarh Administration has decided to remove all the silt in this dry patch in this year starting from April, 2010, till the rainy season sets in. Till date 8.22 lac of silt has been removed.The Chandigarh Administration has now revised its plan to remove the silt from this dry patch from 50 lac cft to 80 lac cft to take advantage of early summer season for which two Hydraulic Excavator of bucket capacity of one cum (poclain), five excavator (J.C.B) and 44 Dumpers/Trucks/trolleys are being used.

The Chandigarh Administration has also started construction of a Tourist Information Centre near the Regulator End at Sukhna Lake with the Financial assistance given by Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India. The Information Centre will provide information to the visitors regarding wild life sanctuary, migratory birds, flora and fauna of the lake and lower Shivalik ranges. As per plan the building of the Tourism Information Centre will be of 4’ to 5’ height above the ground in the shape of an inverted bowl covered with grass and sloping sides. The construction of this Centre will not have any adverse ecological impact as it is being made to gel with the surroundings. Further, just before the Regulator End retaining walls are being constructed to support the loose earth adjoining the Lake embankments. The available vacant space at the Regulator End is also being beautified with eye catching landscaping and sitting facility for the public. Parking facility for parking of 50 vehicles has also been made.

A Garden of Silence is also being constructed near the Fish Aquarium to provide place of seclusion, meditation and for sitting area. The area will be made up in the form of circular steps and separate stage for meditative teaching. The outlined by planting with bamboo trees. The sloping area will also be landscaped by providing flowery shrubs. The whole area will give a feeling of beautiful Amphitheatre. A provision for parking of 40 vehicles has also been made.

The island situated at the start of the Sukhna Lake with a structure of Open Hand made up of brick masonry is also being beautified by raising its height and providing LED light in the finger tips. The Open Hand structure is being illuminated with lights so that it looks attractive in the night. The area around the Open Hand structure at the Island is also being landscaped with lots of shrubs and flowers so that the whole Island look like a floating bouquets on the water.

In addition to above, refurbishing work of cement concrete Pedestrian Path in between CITCO Cafeteria and Band Stand is also in progress with provision of tactile flooring to facilitate the movement of visual handicapped persons.

The Chandigarh Administration is also making all out efforts to remove the weeds that have grown in the Lake bed through manual deployment of the labour and boats.


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