A team led by Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice A K Mittal on Monday carried out an inspection of Sukhna Lake to take stock of the progress made by the Chandigarh administration in removal of weeds. In 2009, the high court had taken suo motu notice of the depletion in water level in Sukhna Lake and since then it had been monitoring the case. The presence of a large number of weeds in the lake is one of the reasons for the depleting water level.
On September 5, a division bench comprising Justice Ajay Kumar Mittal and Justice Ramendra Jain had directed UT chief engineer Mukesh Anand to ensure removal of weeds from the Sukhna Lake within two weeks.
On Monday, the team comprising amicus curiae in the case, advocate Tanu Bedi, and additional advocate general of Punjab Reeta Kohli took stock of the progress.
Earlier, the lake was chocked with weeds, especially at the Regulator End. The engineering wing has managed to clear most of the area.
Anand informed the high court team that the engineering wing pressed around 70 workers and 15 boats for the removal of weeds. The chief engineer said the high court team was satisfied with the progress, but asked the administration to sustain the drive throughout the year.
Anand told the Chandigarh Newsline: “The weeds will be removed throughout the year. It will be a continuous process to ensure that the lake remains weed-free. The engineering wing is removing the weeds itself.”
The same high court team had carried an inspection of the lake and its nearby areas on August 6. Rapid siltation and inflow of sewage into the lake from nearby areas are said to be the major reasons for the weeds.
There are eight types of weeds that are spread over more than half of the lake. Typha, Hydrocharitaceae and Ceratophyllaceae are the most common type of weeds found in different seasons.
On the directions of the high court, the administration has also sought suggestions from the Tricity residents for saving Sukhna.
Workers Without Safety Gear
Amicus curiae in the case, advocate Tanu Bedi, pointed out that the workers have not been provided safety gear such as gloves and shoes. Justice A K Mittal directed chief engineer Mukesh Anand to ensure that all the workers are provided with the required safety gear.