The Mehsana District is a renowned region in Gujarat, significantly known for its Indus Valley Civilization, the bird sanctuary and the ancient stepwells. Rich in history and culture, the district has an equally important environmental aspect to it. Countless water bodies, forests, and hills adorn the region, making it a truly hospitable area. Over the years, however, the region began to lose its “green identity” as it steadily progressed towards becoming modern and developed.
The Fatehpura Lake in Mehsana is one such a water body that lost its beauty. Invasive weeds and solid waste had found their way into the lake’s waters, making it unfit as a water source and as a habitat. In an effort to rejuvenate the Fatehpura Lake, E.F.I has collaborated with the Government of Gujarat and Kotak Mahindra Bank.
Removal of Invasive Weeds
Owing to no maintenance, invasive vegetation had taken over the lake area, restricting the growth of native species to thrive at the lake. With the help of machinery, the invasive weeds in the lake were cleared. Native trees already present at the lake were left unharmed.
Desilting the Lake
Excess silt deposits were found across the lake due to sheer negligence. This gave the lake an uneven contour, thereby reducing its storage capacity. Using an excavator, the excess silt to an average depth of 3 feet was excavated from the lake, hence increasing the percolation rate and its storage capacity.
Inlet and Outlet Regulation
The inlet and outlet points of the lake were regulated to ensure optimal flow of water in and out of the lake. This is crucial to the functioning of a lake to prevent stagnation of water.
Bund Formation and Strengthening
Using the excavated silt, bunds of the lake were strengthened and repaired to ensure the lake can optimally store water.
Sedimentary Channel, Recharge Well and Island Creation
To capture the majority of silt and nutrient and prevent it spreading across the lake, a sedimentary channel and intermediate sedimentary pits were prepared. A nesting island was constructed to provide nesting grounds for local fauna.
Fencing the Lake
Protective fencing was installed at the lake to ensure there is no further human intervention that could harm or threaten the lake. The fence acts as the first line of defense and also provides a definitive boundary to the lake.
Involving the Community
To educate and raise awareness within the local community, a public wall painting activity was conducted. Neighbouring walls were painted with environmental conservation messages to sensitize the people.
The Lake today, with all its new features, has a 67% increased storage capacity, making it a viable source of water for the region.
We thank our partners, local residents and volunteers for strengthening this effort.