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Haryana plans artificial lakes to recharge ground water

The Haryana government plans to create two artificial lakes in the state to recharge ground water.

Written by Chitleen K Sethi | Chandigarh |
April 11, 2011 1:00:29 am

The Haryana government plans to create two artificial lakes in the state to recharge ground water. The first of these lakes —Kotla Lake — would be created over 178 acres in Mewat by reviving a dried lake bed spread across Haryana and Rajasthan. The other lake would be created in Bibipur in Kurukshetra district on the ancient course of the lost Saraswati River.

Cabinet minister for irrigation,Captain Ajay Yadav,said the main purpose of the two lakes is to recharge ground water for irrigation as also give impetus to tourism and environment rehabilitation of these areas.

“Kotla Lake is a natural depression with non-permeable rocks at the bottom. In the pre-Independence days this lake used to fill up from the flood waters of the Aravali Hills. The total catchment of the lake is spread over 30 square miles. But the overflowing of the lake became a source of agony to the nearby population during monsoons,and in order to stop its flooding check dams were constructed around it. Over the years,the lake went dry and with this died a natural source of freshwater in the region,” said Yadav.

The chronically flooded area of Kotla Lake spread over 5,500 acres has turned into barren land and the fauna-flora and ecology of the region has suffered immense loss. “Agriculture,too,has suffered badly as the groundwater here turned brackish due to leaching of salt and minerals into the groundwater. There has been a persistent demand from various quarters to revive the water body and the project was finally approved by Haryana State Flood Control Board,” said Yadav.

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It was decided that a water body of 100 acres would be created in the first phase. “We have approved Rs 116 crore for development of Kotla Lake and submitted the proposal to the Government of India for more funding. The revival of the lake would benefit villages Kotla,Akora,Mohamadpur,Khanpur and Nuh,” said Yadav.

Bibipur Lake is also a natural depression spread across 5,000 acres on the course of the ancient river Saraswati. Saraswati is believed to have its origin at Ad-Badri and its course meandered through Bilaspur,Birpipli,Narkatari and Jyotisar,from where the present Saraswati drain passes near the famous Aranai temple and ultimately joins the Ghaggar track.

“Since 1924,this depression spread across 11 villages of Kurukshetra was filled through the Kanthala supply channel and farmers belonging to the area of Bibipur Lake used to be compensated for Kharif crop as and when water was stored for irrigation through the Saraswati canal network,” said Yadav.

The lake is surrounded by an earthen embankment constructed by the irrigation department on all the three sides except where the Narwana branch and SYL canal form its boundary. In July last year,a heavy flood discharge entered Bibipur lake through an existing creek as a result of unaccounted water received from Punjab through the SYL Canal. This filled up the lake but the extra water is required to be passed safely through the lake area.

“A project worth Rs 10.94 crore has been undertaken for the digging of a drain in the lake for discharging water from the existing siphon under Narwana branch,”said Yadav.

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