Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wake up! call by students to preserve Badha Lake wetland in Punjab

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

FAZILKA: 350 school children from Punjab will pour water into the dry lake bed with their water bottles to ensure their future life at Fazilka by preserving their natural environment on 24th October 2009. It will be a message by them to all as how and why they are sacrificing today to save their future in Fazilka, since their elders remain silent when damage was being done to the climate of Fazilka.

Graduates Welfare Association Fazilka, in association with Indian Youth Climate Network & 350.org, starts an Effort to preserve Badha Lake wetland in its original shape.

Fazilka city was established on the bank of Badha Lake, which was then spread in huge area. In the year 1844, a Britisher Pat Van Agnew constructed his Bungalow (presently SDM office cum residence) on the bank of Badha Lake. He was impressed with the bio-diversity and environment of this area, later by purchasing land from Mian Fazal Watto, he founder beautiful city Fazilka in the thar desert region. Now because of the criminal negligence of the concerned authorities, greedy deeds of the manhood and some self interest of the political leaders to win over vote bank; we have almost lost our vintage uniqueness Badha Lake, due to which our city came into existence.

Till 1960, the lake was full of water and supported various species of migratory bird and the groundwater was available at the depth of 4 m below the ground. Between 1844-1946, the lake was the source of drinking water for the town. The Indus Water Treaty in 1960 caused the Sutlej river to be truncated at Suleimanki Head Works by the Water Commission of the Central government, leaving it with no source of water.
According to Prof Bhupinder Singh, Professor of IIT, Roorkee, "The stretch of stream from Ferozepur to Fazilka hardly gets any water from Satluj; all the 105-kilometre stretch carries is waste from the leather industry of Kasur in Pakistan. This has affected the ecology badly and has left many such smaller horse-shoe lakes on its banks dry," The lake-bed is now listed as Panchayat land in the local revenue department's documents and has been leased out for cultivation. The groundwater level has gone down to 30 m below the ground. In 2000, the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology (PSCST) submitted a report to the state Environment Department stating that the conservation of this wetland is essential.


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