Indore’s Badshah of lakes

India’s cleanest city is on a path to redefining itself. Indore’s aim to establish itself as India’s greenest and bluest is an effort in progress. Environmentalist Foundation of India and the Indore Municipal corporation initiated the restoration of the Kanadia lake in 2020, the successful restoration of the lake led to the adoption of many other nature projects within the city. This included the establishment of new age urban forests to clean the city’s air. IMC-E.F.I’s AhilyaVan‘s across locations in the city are adding a new green line to Indore.

With increasing green, there is a steady need for more blue. Indore is home to several water bodies across its terrain. Rapid urbanization, changing population and increasing consumption has led to steady depletion of water resources. There is an urgent need for new-age restoration of these lakes in cities like Indore. E.F.I and IMC’s focus for 2023 is on key water bodies such as the Tigaria Badshah, Chota Bilawali, Maya Khedi, Arandiya and more. This article elaborates on the steps related to the ongoing Tigaria Badshah lake restoration.

Before we understand the restoration, here is a timeline to how this lake has changed in the last 20 years.

Indore is literally on a super corridor of growth, a concrete motorway that now defines the dynamic economic growth story of Junior Mumbai. What once were farm fields, criss-crossing canals and stagnant puddles of ponds and stretches of marsh is now IT parks, metro station, wide roads and not to miss out residential colonies.

The Tigaria Badshah lake had a North and West inflow, South outflow until a few years ago. Today the lake is receiving water from the Northern farm fields, the western flow is blocked and there is absolutely no regulated outflow. Siltation, changing elevation owing to modern construction that always wants to reach the sky, the land below has a differential structure. Deep pockets have become deeper, shallow beds are elevated to infinity and thereby confusing every running stream on which direction to flow. This leads to urban flooding and in the peak summer an acute shortage of all that was callously drained during the monsoons.

With this platter of challenges offered to us, we got to work in January of 2023.

  • We looked for garbage and these volunteers then those machines removed non-degradable trash from the lake
  • We found these invasive weeds and removed them
  • We redefined the lake’s water holding area to optimize storage: desilting, deepening, bund strengthening. Not the usual, imagine this happening over vast stretches of a suburban lake for nearly 90 days. Its now deeper, stronger and ready to hold a lot more water.
  • We made nesting islands
EFI’s Nesting Island, perpendicular trench with a far end concentric double deck dump island.
  • We made double deck embankment and now this is the Great Wall of Indore making Tigaria the Badshah of lakes.
  • We recovered lost area and now the lake is bigger
  • We are adding a first of it’s kind Mega-mini recharge points interlaced with a fine network of percolation canals

The Tigaria Badshah lake restoration is a fine example of how the government and civic society are working together in ensuring grass roots efforts in conservation. E.F.I thanks the Additional Commissioner of IMC, Shri. Siddharth Jain and his entire team for their support in this restoration, our longstanding partners at HDBFS for funding such efforts make our dreams take shape on field and the active band of Indore volunteers who are keen on making their city No. I in almost everything.

Take a minute to stare into the image below, this is not just water and earth. This is a habitat for birds, crabs, turtles, fish, frogs, snakes and above all source of an elixir to us all. We urge you to thank mother nature for all that she has given us and then volunteer for India & her Environment with E.F.I.

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