Nagpur: Taking serious view of the dangerous condition of retaining wall of Ambazari Lake, Maharashtra Water Resources Regulatory Authority (MWRRA) has issued show cause notice to Municipal Commissioner, District Collector and Executive Director of Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC). The MWRRA has directed them to file affidavit in this regard till November 23.
The MWRRA has stated, “It appears prima facie that the health and lives of citizens of Nagpur city is at risk. Therefore, the Authority found it prudent to take cognisance and therefore order to call for further details.” It has asked the Municipal Commissioner, District Collector and Executive Director of VIDC, to show cause as to why MWRRA should not take suo motu cognisance of the matter.The notice has been issued with signature of Dr Ramnath Sonawane, Secretary of MWRRA. The matter is before the corum of Vinod J Tiwari, Member (Law), and Dr S T Sangle, Member (Economics), of MWRRA.
Pravin Mahajan, a researcher on issues relating to water, raised the issue of weakening of Ambazari Lake walls with MWRRA. He raised the issues vide letter dated October 12. In the letter, Mahajan pointed out that Ambazari Lake under the ownership of Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) is 150-year old and its earthen dam and spillway have become dilapidated. “The water is coming out from various cracks in the wall of the lake. If the Ambazari Lake bursts, it will affect about 10 lakh people and there will be a danger of submerging surrounding areas under 15-20 feet of water,” Mahajan stated.
Further, he said that the water of Ambazari Lake was not being used even during water scarcity. According to him, this has affected the environment. Against this backdrop, he sought directions to NMC to ensure safety as well as use of Ambazari Lake. Ambazari Lake with a submergence area of 200 hectares is the pride of Nagpur. The earthen dam is 930 metres in length, spillway is 140 metres, and the height of the lake is 11 metres. The lake with 14 km of catchment area always has water, Mahajan said. Commenting on MWRRA notice to the authorities, he said that it had raised hopes about the future of Ambazari Lake and also for removing the risk to Nagpur. He stressed upon the need for repairs. Besides, steps are needed to make Ambazari Lake water potable and to develop the lakeside into a tourist spot after carrying out strengthening works. Also, he said, encroachments on Nag river need to be removed.