While celebrating ‘World Environment Day’ in June, the Udaipur Municipal Council (UMC) along with a few other NGOs focused on lake cleaning. Speaking to CIJ Municipal Commissioner Balmukund Asawa said, “Udaipur has four main lakes: Pichhola, Rang Sagar, Swaroop Sagar and Fateh Sagar. These lakes are integral part of Udaipur’s lake system because they are also the source of drinking water. But in the past few years these lakes have been subjected to rampant pollution.”
Asawa said, “Udaipur city, with a burgeoning population, now nearing 500,000 and a large influx of tourists, has an inadequate sewage system. An estimated 53 hotels and 10,000 houses accommodating 80,000 people are located around the lakes. These lakes also receive sewage and wastewater from 45 drains and 73 ghats (used for washing and bathing purposes). Over the years, a large number of hotels have also sprung up on the banks of the river which has increased the pollution load. It is encouraging to see that understanding and concern for the environment is growing in the minds of Udaipur citizens. Hopefully, this trend will continue to grow and the environmental situation of Udaipur will dramatically improve in the coming years.”
The municipal council recently introduced mechanised cleaning in the old city or the inner city area, especially the Pichhola Lake, Fatehsagar Lake and the Jagdish Temple areas. It will be spending one-two crores of rupees. The contract for cleaning these areas are given to Jaipur based Ensole Ltd under the National Lake Conservation plan.
UMC is also planning to outsource door-to-door collection and disposal of solid-waste. The municipal authorities have already finalised 13 agencies. Asawa said, “We are going to float only one integrated tender. We will have door-to-door collection and even the waste from the hotel would be collected by the contractor. These wastes would be then transported to our trenching ground (located in the outskirts) earmarked for 53 hectares.”