Lake Bhopal Conservation & Management Project selected as Ambassador Project for achievements toward sustainability
Sunday, September 29, 2002
Madhya Pradesh, India
Stockholm Partnerships for sustainable cities based in Stockholm Sweden has selected the Lake Bhopal Conservation & Management Project (also known as Bhoj Wetland Project) as one of the 60 Ambassador Projects for having achieved designed goal towards sustainability of Bhopal, the city of lakes in Madhya Pradesh, India.
Accordingly, Dr. J.L. Bose, Principal Secretary, Housing & Environment Department, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, and Mr. Sheo Shekhar Shukla, Project Director, Bhoj Wetland Project represented the project at the "New Solutions for Sustainable Cities" event held in Stockholm during June 4-7, 2002 and had extensive discussions with other participants as well as representatives of other Ambassador Projects.
The Lake Bhopal Conservation & Management Project
Background, goals & objectives:
The Lakes Bhopal Conservation and Management Project, also known as Bhoj Wetland Project, envisages to conserve and manage the Upper and Lower Lakes of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India With the help of Yen 9055 M soft loan from JBIC, Ministry of Housing & Environment, M.P. State, India conceived Bhoj Wetland Project in the year 1995 for conservation and management of the catchment of twin lakes on which city of Bhopal is largely located.
The project includes 18 sub-projects that directly benefit the city including measures like: (1) Infrastructure (conveyance, treatment & reuse) for diversion and treatment of 56 MLD of domestic sewage (2) Greening of city & catchment by massive afforestation (3) Water quality improvement of bigger lake (a potable water source) by extensive deweeding & aquaculture operations and by installations of floating fountains in lakes for promoting eco-tourism (4) Relocation of commercial activities like washing of clothes & rehabilitation (including housing) for 250 families of affected washermen, (5) Construction of a 5 km long road along lake periphery for easing traffic pressures and for stopping encroachments (6) desilting/dredging of 3 M. Cum of silt for increasing lake capacity to reduce occasional floods in the city etc.. The project is grateful to citizens of Bhopal who have got involved through 50 NGOs , 10 educational institutes & 25 schools in various project schemes that are scheduled for completion in the year 2003.
Project Team and Skills:
Project Director : An experienced Administrator , coordinator and Environmentalist One Urban Planner & Designer, One Environment Specialist 5 scientists - such as a geologist, a limnologist, a fisheries expert, a geographer and a social scientist. 15 technicians for water and air quality checkups. and for construction material testing . Nearly 50 engineers (civil, mechanical & electrical) One manager (Finance & Administration) The project also involves participation of over 50 NGOs, 10 colleges and 25 local schools along with a number of government departments such as Public Health Dept, Water Resources Dept., Municipality etc.
Because operation and maintenance is a major problem in developing countries like India, low cost, low technology innovative solutions were preferred. For example for the sewage treatment stabilization ponds were chosen which resulted in elimination of O & M and energy (electrical) inputs etc.
It generated employment opportunities for the local labour force. This also incidentally ensured a sense of belongingness amongst and participation by a large number of local inhabitants in the project works.
The direct beneficiary of this project are the general people of Bhopal city, the tourist, fishermen, daily commuters and a part of slum dwellers.
Diversion of sewage for treatment-installation of sewage conveyance and treatment system (56 MLD) for the first time in the city.
Improvement in air quality by large-scale afforestation (1.63 million plants).
Improvement in drinking water quality.
Augmentation of existing traffic system for easing traffic pressures.
Preventing encroachments in the lake fringe areas.
Relocation and rehabilitation of commercial activities example cloth washing activities.
Promotion of eco-tourism.
Development of fisheries for sustenance of poor.