The District Administration of Udaipur is currently formulating a new boat policy aimed at reducing the number of boats in order to enhance the conservation and cleanliness of drinking water in Udaipur's lakes, while also focusing on the protection of aquatic life. In a rather surprising incident, on Wednesday morning at 9:30 AM, a tempo was brought to the Manji Ghat of Pichola Lake, and a jetty was installed. This development raises questions and curiosity about the ongoing efforts in lake management and the associated policies in Udaipur.
An attempt was made to set up the jetty in an empty area, about 10 feet in front of the pump house near Manji Ghat and opposite Amet Haveli. However, local residents quickly objected to this initiative. Within a short period, members of the Manji Ghat and Temple Struggle Committee gathered at the location, expressing strong opposition through vehement protests. Following this, a team from the municipal corporation intervened, reaching the scene and confiscating the jetty.
The team from the Municipal Corporation questioned the auto driver about its ownership. The driver replied, "It was sent by Sethji from Kapasan (Chittorgarh)." However, the name of Sethji was unknown. The driver identified himself as Praveen Singh. Currently, the corporation has seized both the auto and the jetty.
At present there are 63 boats actively operating in Pichola. In the last six months, there has been an ongoing initiative to decrease their numbers. The municipal corporation manages a total of 10 jetties in the lake, with 4 specifically belonging to them. Among these, two jetties are situated at Dudh Talai, and one each at Swaroop Sagar and Gangaur Ghat. These jetties serve as points for tourists or travelers to board and disembark from boats, contributing to the congestion issues in Pichola Lake.
Nevertheless, some contractors are operating boats on Pichola without proper authorization. Among the 63 boats on Pichola, 10 are powered by a combination of battery, solar, and CNG, while 53 run on petrol. Out of the petrol-run boats, 17 are owned by the contractors. Conversely, Fatehsagar has 27 boats running on petrol, including more than 10 speedboats, all of which are operated by UIT contractors.
A committee has been established to address various concerns, including the contract for the Manji Temple Ghat. When committee members requested documents for the jetty, it was discovered that no documents were available. Rohit Chaubisa, a member of the committee, noted that similar attempts had been made in the past. The committee alleges that the jetty was brought to the location based on the recommendation of an official from the Department of Religious Places. Advocate Bharat Kumar expressed surprise that despite the seizure of the jetty, the administration remains unaware of who brought it and who was involved in its installation.
Efforts to safeguard the quality of drinking water and preserve the delicate balance of aquatic ecosystems are critical for the overall well-being of the community. The administration's initiative to reconsider the number of boats and the recent incident at Pichola Lake underscore the need for careful planning and implementation of policies that ensure the sustainability of these vital water bodies.
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