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Bhoj Wetland Project receives NALMS 2001 Achievement award (India)
Tuesday, November 13, 2001

The North America Lake Management Society (NALMS), based in Madison, USA has conferred the NALMS 2001 Achievement award for the year 2001 under the category Technical Merit Award for successful projects to the Bhoj Wetland Project, under implementation in the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, India on 9th November 2001 during the 21st International Symposium of the North American Lake held in Madison, USA during November 7-9, 2001.

Each year NALMS recognizes individuals, organizations and programs, corporations and projects that have contributed to the society and to the science of Lake and Watershed Management significantly. These awards were established to recognize and encourage forging of partnerships among citizens, scientists, and professionals to foster the management and protection of Lakes & Reservoirs for today and tomorrow.

The Bhoj Wetland Project has been selected for the award in recognition of its efforts and achievements as a cost-effective comprehensive wetland conservation & management project. The (Bhoj Wetland Project) i.e. integrated Conservation & Management of Upper & Lower Lakes of Bhopal commenced in 1995, and was envisaged to be implemented under 15 sub-projects of which 10 have already been completed and the remaining five along with three additional sub-projects approved in 2001 are targeted to be completed by March 2002. Salient features of the wetland & the project are as follows:

1. The Bhoj Wetland

The Upper & Lower lakes (designated as Bhoj Wetland) are urban water bodies. Upper lake is a major source of potable water for the people of the city of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India.

The Upper lake (arguably the oldest man-made lake in India) was created by Raja Bhoj in the 11th Century by constructing an earthen dam across the Kolans river. Lower lake was constructed much later on the down stream of the dam of Upper lake. The Lower lake is surrounded from all sides by human settlements. The eastern catchment of Upper lake is urban whereas western catchment is rural in nature. The essential details of both the lakes are as follows:-



Constructed in: 11TH Century A.D., Late 17th Century

TYPE OF DAM: Earthen, Earthen


Latitude: 2312' - 2316' N, 2314' - 2316' N

Longitude: 7718' - 7723' E, 7724' - 7725' E

CATCHMENT AREA (Sq.km.): 361, 9.6

SUBMERGENCE AREA at FTL (Sq.km.): 36.54, 0.90

FULL TANK LEVEL (MSL) (m): 508.65, 499.88

DEAD STORAGE LEVEL (MSL) (m): 503.53, 499.88

STORAGE CAPACITY (Million Cum.): 117.05, 4.3

MAXIMUM DEPTH (m): 11.7, 9.4

SOURCE OF WATER: Rain water & Sewage, Rain water, Seepage from Upper lake and Domestic Sewage

MAIN USE OF WATER: Potable water supply, Washing and Boating

2. The Bhoj Wetland Project

The project involves integrated conservation & management of Upper & Lower lakes, the twin water bodies of Bhopal, collectively called Bhoj Wetland, which are under severe environmental degradation due to anthropogenic activities in and around the water bodies. The project is being executed by the Housing & Environment Department, Government of Madhya Pradesh, India through financial assistance from the Government of Japan through Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) since 1995.

3. Objectives of the project

The major objectives of the Bhoj Wetland Project are as follows:

Upgrade overall environmental conditions of the Bhoj Wetland which comprises of the two lakes of Bhopal namely the Upper Lake and Lower Lake, and

Improve the water quality in the two lakes, particularly the Upper Lake, which is being used as one of the main sources of water supply to the city of Bhopal.

4. Project Activity:

The multidisciplinary project is divided into following 18 subprojects::

1. Desilting and Dredging of the Lakes.

2. Deepening & Widening of spill channel.

3. Restoration of Takia Island.

4. Afforestation, Creation of Buffer Zones.

5. Construction of check dams, silt traps, toe walls & cascading for controlling inflow of silt.

6. Construction of Garland Drains around the Lower lake.

7. Sewerage (Prevention of Pollution) Scheme

8. Link Road from Retghat to Lalghati as a physical barrier for controlling human and animal activities.

9. Solid waste management.

10. Prevention of Pollution from Dhobi Ghats (Washing activities).

11. Deweeding of Lakes

12. Monitoring of Water Quality.

13. Installation of floating fountains.

14. Biological control (of weeds) through Aquaculture.

15. Public Participation and Environmental Awareness.

16. Protection of Lake Fringes.

17. Lake View Promenade

18. Creation of Interpretation Centre


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