Located to the West of Ahmedabad, Sanand is an area that has witnessed drastic transformations in the recent past. Sanand plays an important role as a major manufacturing hub being situated close to the automobile industry of Viramgam. As the region grew, so did its people as labourers and civic workers began to reside in the area.
Sanand is well equipped with water bodies that not only adorn but also provide for water in the region. The Bhadreti Lake located near the Bus Stop and the Municipality Office is one such a lake. Spread over 20 acres, the lake hosts a variety of flora and fauna, from turtles, and snakes, to frogs and birds.
The lake that provides a habitat for several species to thrive in unfortunately began to face the brunt of modernisation and urbanisation. Domestic and untreated sewage was let into the lake, making it unfit to use for almost anything. The bunds of the lake were found to be damaged at several parts and invasive weeds such as water hyacinth had taken over the entire water surface of the lake.
In an effort to restore the lake back to its natural glory, a holistic approach was undertaken in a collaborative conservation effort between the Sanand Municipality, HDFC Life, and E.F.I.
Removal of Invasive Weeds
The area around the lake was cleaned and thorny invasive species of Prosopis Juliflora and other bushes were removed.
Water hyacinths that were floating over the water were removed using a special perforated bucket to drain the water while removing them.
Reusing the Collected Water Hyacinth
Water hyacinth can be used as manure/fertilizer after decomposition. Hence, wide trenches were dug along the lake’s boundary and were loaded with the collected hyacinth.
Constructing and Strengthening the Bunds
A dual embankment structure was constructed to ensure that the bunds of the lake would store water effectively and also improve the lake’s flood resilience.
Construction of Islands
The lake had an existing natural island upon which a temple was established. The bunds of the island were strengthened and will soon be planted with native saplings and later be protected by a fence, making it a lake viewpoint.
A G-shaped island was constructed to regulate the inflow of the lake and to provide as a nesting habitat for birds, amphibians, and reptiles.
Protective Fencing of the Lake
To ensure there is no further human intervention at the lake, protective outer fencing was established. The fence will act as the first line of defense and also provides the lake a definitive boundary that will make sure there is no further encroachment of the lake.
In an effort to inculcate a sense of responsibility and ownership among the community towards the lake, volunteering activities such as clean-ups, plantation, and wall painting were conducted.
We thank all those who strengthened our efforts. Stay tuned for more updates!
Volunteer for India and her Environment with E.F.I