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May 30, 2012

Tourists complain neglect of Sukhna lake

     Chandigarh: Tourists and locals have complained about the negligent attitude of the authorities towards maintaining the water level of the famous Sukhna Lake. They said the water level of the lake had dropped due to silt deposition and waste deposit. The city is no longer tourist-friendly. A tourist from Jaipur, Rajathan, Avinderpal Singh said that he could hardly find any difference between Jaipur and Chandigarh . “Relatively, I can hardly find any difference in Jaipur (city in India’s northwestern Rajasthan state) and Chandigarh. They both look alike. A lot of development has taken in Jaipur area but here in Chandigarh , I found the lake dried and a lot of garbage can be seen in different areas of the lake. So, I don’t think that the beauty of the lake that was ten years back still exists. Now, there is nothing left here,” said Avinderpal Singh. The lake was created in the year 1958 with an average depth of 18 feet. But the depth has now reduced to more or less than two feet at most of its places. Even the size of the lake that was nearly three-square kilometers has diminished to one third because of heavy silt and weed deposition. According to a survey, the numbers of local as well as the foreign tourists have plummeted since 2011 unlike 2010. The city witnessed nearly 12,555 foreign tourists from all across the world in the first four months of 2011, which was lower as compared to 2010 that recorded nearly 15,974 tourists thronging the city. Meanwhile, the General Manager of Tourism Department of Chandigarh, A.K. Malhotra has assured of taking all possible measures to maintain the beauty of the lake in order to attract the tourists. “ There is no doubt that the level of water has come down and it is hopeful that in ensuing monsoon season in couple of days, the water level will rise and the tourists will still have fun boating in Sukhna Lake.” said Malhotra. He also said that the city is known for the transit tourism where most of the travelers go uphill during summer season while others visit Sukhna Lake and enjoy the boat ride. Recently, the civil authorities launched a desilting drive to save the lake but all the efforts made by the administration to remove the silt, around 70 acre of silt dry patch is still visible near the regulator end of the lake.
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