Dharamshala Dal lake

Dal Lake in Dharamsala dying slow death, Still no solution in sight

SHIMLA- No solution seems to working for saving the picturesque Dal Lake of Dharamshala located at an altitude of 1775 meters from the sea level. The lake is dying a slow death.

The Dal Lake earlier used to look like a bowl of water trapped at the bottom of the mountains and surrounded by lush green deodar forest. It was a famous tourist spot. The tourists used to enjoy nature at the banks of the lake. They also used to boat in its clam and tranquil waters.

However, now the lake is dying as it was losing its water storage capacity. The water storage capacity of the lake was being lost due to rapid silting. Due to silting, the lake is also losing its natural flora and fauna.

We could see fish in crystal clear waters of the lake. However, now one can hardly find any fish in the lake,

says Rakesh, a local resident, who resides near the lake.

In the past few years, the local municipal council and other government departments have spent about Rs 40 lakh in the name of saving the lake. Most of the amount has gone in efforts to desilt the lake. Even the local labour under MNREGA was employed to desilt the lake. However, all the efforts have gone waste and the efforts have failed to restore the lake to its pristine glory.

Former Director of the Geological Survey of India (GSI) LN Aggarwal, said that efforts had failed as entire process to desilt the lake was carried out in an unscientific manner. The tourism and municipal council authorities despite having spent lakhs have failed to revive the source of water to the lake or prevent seepage of water.

He said that to save the lake its base should first be cleaned of all muck and material that was unwanted. To prevent seepage one cutoff should be provided at a suitable depth to the southern end of the lake. This should be done in consultation with engineering geologist and a ground water expert. To check the flow of silt into the lake small check dams can be constructed in the channels draining water into the lake.

The inflow of silt should be stopped from the northern side of the lake by small preventive wall and plantation of grass that would prevent erosion of soil, LN Aggarwal said. He said in case the inspection was done periodically, the decay in the lake could be prevented.

Photo: Kamaljeet

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