The desilting of the Lakaki Lake in Model Colony has led to a tug of war between the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and local residents.
Claiming that the desilting work being carried out with help of earthmovers and other machinery is harming the ecology of the lake,damaging in particular algae and other aquatic vegetation,the local residents have opposed the work.
Local corporator Neelam Kulkarni,however,stated that desilting is needed as it had not been done for 25 years and the lake floor had gone up.
The quarry lake in Model Colony is a biodiversity spot and had seen protracted battles to save its flora and fauna. Citizens groups had even moved court to prevent the lake from being filled.
However,the land-locked lake has no outlet and water quality has been deteriorating for the past few years. In 2012,death of fish and tortoises were reported at the lake,which environmentalists stated was due to lack of aeration in the lake.
Kulkarni explained why desilting was necessary to preserve the lake. Deposition of silt has reduced the depth of the lake and we have just a month to make it right, she said.
She went on to add that prior to commencing work,local residents were taken into confidence. We consulted the environmental cell of the PMC before commencing work, she added.
A local resident,Ameya Jagtap,although welcomed the work,stated that proper planning should have been done to prevent degradation of the water body.
The natural water sources,which resulted in the lake years back,got plugged and thus desilting is necessary. Also unchecked construction in the area has resulted in depletion of the water table, he said. Jagtap stated it is necessary to restore the ecology of the lake by stopping human activities near the lake for the next six months.