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Thursday, 3 May 2012

Vadodara Municipal Corporation looks at INTACH to clean up ponds, Sursagar

Sachin Sharma, TNN | May 3, 2012,

VADODARA: Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) that is looking to clean ponds across the city will seek expertise from Indian National Trust for Art Culture and Heritage (INTACH). The civic body invited an expert in natural heritage, particularly water bodies, to examine the condition of water bodies and suggest remedial measures.

VMC had invited principal advisor of environmental projects in the natural heritage division of INTACH Manu Bhatnagar to have a look at Sursagar. During the course of the visit on Tuesday and Wednesday, Bhatnagar was also shown other water bodies in the city, which he examined them closely.

Water samples were collected from Sursagar at various levels and have been sent for series of tests as suggested by Bhatnagar. He held a series of meetings with VMC officials, including municipal commissioner Ashwini Kumar, and made a presentation on the work done at other water bodies in the country and possible work that could be done on some key water bodies in the city. Kumar said VMC was examining the possibility of taking in the expertise for work on one or two smaller water bodies in the city. "It can then be replicated on other ponds that we want to clean and develop," the commissioner added.

INTACH and Bhatnagar have worked on a series of water bodies in the country. The revival of historical Hauz Khas in Delhi was done through INTACH. "Besides Hauz Khas, the division has successfully revived a temple tank in Nagarcoil and a pond in Gwalior. It is also working on two ponds in Raipur and will take up work on three in Jharkhand," Bhatnagar said.

Bhatnagar added that ponds needed to be revived as they were a critical resource. "They are important for ground water recharging. It is important that water stays in such water bodies and that they remain clean," he said. He added that there were a series of measures that could be taken to clean a water body. "Bioremediation is a good option. Enzymes and bacteria can be used in ponds to clean them," Bhatnagar said.

He added that while work was being conducted o the surface of Sursagar, it was necessary to address even its deeper levels and not merely its surface. Samples of water at various levels have been collected for analysis keeping this in mind.

INTACH state co-coordinator Sanjeev Joshi said the two-day exercise was a positive one and could lead to concrete developments. Bhatnagar will now prepare a detailed report on Sursagar and one or two selected ponds on the city and submit it to the VMC.

Sarasiya pond to be spruced up

VMC's standing committee will take up a proposal to clean Sarasiya pond in the walled city later this week. The proposal was moved by the administration and a contractor has been identified for the purpose after tendering was completed recently.

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