The neglect of environmental conservation, encompassing trees, mountains, and water bodies, by political parties, has given rise to numerous challenges in Rajasthan, with Udaipur being no exception. This worrisome issue was brought to the forefront during the Lake inspection, which took place last Sunday, 5 November, 2023.
The consequences of this lack of emphasis on environmental conservation are particularly evident in Udaipur, a city known for its picturesque lakes and natural beauty. The region faces a multitude of problems, such as diminishing water resources, deforestation, and ecological imbalances, all of which stem from the inadequate prioritization of environmental issues.
The district administration has displayed a strong commitment to maintaining the cleanliness of the key tourist destinations, often considered as the city's pride. District Collector Arvind Poswal, in conjunction with the UDA and the municipal team, conducted a visit to Fatehsagar Lake and Swaroop Sagar on Sunday morning to evaluate the cleanliness arrangements. During the visit, he identified hotels and restaurant operators responsible for polluting the lake and issued directives for corrective actions. The Lake Dialogue event held served as a platform for passionate lake enthusiasts and concerned citizens to voice their apprehensions and advocate for more significant action and policy changes.
The District Collector issued specific instructions while inspecting the process of removing water hyacinth from the Fateh Sagar lake. Special directives were given to address cleanliness concerns, as there has been an increase in the number of visitors, both the general public and tourists, at places such as Moti Doongari, Boating Booking Point, Bombay Bazar, and the main jetty, especially considering the elevated noise levels. Additionally, he conducted inspections of the facilities on both sides of the lake and collected information about the routine cleanliness arrangements.
Following that, the Collector reached the Swaroop Sagar's new bridge, where he displayed his dissatisfaction upon observing litter and construction materials along the roadside. He mentioned that during the festive season, both residents and tourists utilize this route to access the city and promptly issued directives for cleaning. He stressed the significance of the lakes as a vital element of Udaipur's identity and urged that their beauty should not be marred by litter. He also identified hotel and restaurant operators responsible for polluting the lake and urged for necessary actions to be taken against them.
Dr. Anil Mehta, a specialist affiliated with the Lake Conservation Committee, highlighted a concerning trend spanning the last three decades. During this period, the catchment areas of lakes and rivers have experienced substantial degradation, resulting in the shrinking of lake boundaries. What is equally troubling is the apparent disregard for judicial rulings in matters concerning these important natural resources. Even political parties not in power seem reluctant to challenge decisions by the ruling parties that negatively affect lakes, rivers, and mountains.
Tej Shankar Paliwal, a former member of the Lake Development Authority, raised an alarming issue by pointing out that even the embankments of lakes have been subject to commercial transactions, indicating the severity of the situation. The region has seen the establishment of hotels, marking a concerning trend. Presently, the environmental preservation of eco-sensitive zones is falling short of what is needed. Nand Kishor Sharma, the director of the Gandhi Human Welfare Committee, has raised a critical issue. He points out that the movement of tourists on motorized boats in drinking water lakes and tourist helicopter flights above these lakes is affecting water quality.
This intrusion into eco-sensitive zones, particularly the operation of motorized boats and helicopters, poses a significant threat to the fragile balance of the natural environment. The potential pollution and disturbances caused by these activities could have lasting consequences for the local ecosystem and water bodies.
In a noteworthy proposal, senior citizens Drupad Singh and Ramesh Chandra Rajput have urged for unity among all political parties. Their suggestion is that regardless of being in power or opposition, these parties should unite on a common platform and make a solemn commitment. This commitment entails refraining from any actions that could harm the lakes and rivers while actively collaborating to safeguard Udaipur's environment.
Furthermore, preceding the inspection on Sunday, an initiative was undertaken. A cleanliness drive was organized at Ghats in the Old City’s areas to combat litter and pollution, reflecting the community's dedication to environmental conservation and creating a cleaner and healthier environment for Udaipur.
Source: Dainik Bhaskar