Udaipur faces dam burst threat with alteration of centuries old water system

Jaipur : Udaipur, despite ranking third on smart city list, is under serious threat of dam breach as its age-old legacy of water conservation system is being demolished.According to the veterans in the city, the Badi Pal Dam has water leaking out through cracks on its walls, which is putting the lives of thousands of residents at risk.Earlier too, its pristine walls, which made it the walled city like Jaipur, have been demolished.Next in line are activities being permitted in and around the lakes and dams.Talking about its beautiful water conservation system, the residents told IANS that earlier, the traditional water system ensured that water levels in the beautiful lakes do not go down drastically during the dry months.”Also, it ensured that there was no continuous pressure on Badi Pal Dam and there were no activities or construction on this dam. It was maintained for safety reasons and to ensure the longevity of the dam.Now, all outlets from the renowned Pichola Lake have been blocked and walls have been erected between water bodies namely Doodh Talai and Pichola lake which is leading to an increased pressure on the dam all round the year thus increasing chances of dam burst,” the locals added.While a water outlet from Doodh Talai has been closed by the administration, one outlet on the north side of Pichola lake has been closed by Gulab Bagh personnel, the other one has been closed by a private party, they confirmed.Former M.P. Lok Sabha IX – Chittorgarh, Maharana Mahendra Singh Mewar, had even written to the Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla in August last year, alleging that Udaipur MP Arjunlal Meena had misled the House with regards to the safety and repairs of Badi Pal and Lake Pichola dam in Udaipur.

In the letter, he also mentioned that previously, numerous letters had been sent to various authorities and successive governments warning them of the risks the centuries old water system posed and the immediate need for repairement of the Pichola dam.The dam has not been repaired in the last 50 years. Repeated requests for repairs and attention drawn to the activities on the dam that seriously compromise its safety, have been sent to the authorities/governments but no action has been taken yet. These activities are also against provisions of law, the letter further read.Maharana Mahendra also termed the high water level during summers in the lakes as a short sighted step and quoted it as a dangerous decision of the authorities to keep the water level unnaturally high in Lake Pichola.Recently, he had also opposed the idea of cruise tourism on Udaipur lakes.However, despite all these hues and cries, the dam can still be seen leaking which increases its chances of breaking.Also, there are jetties being run on lakes, which the locals feel is not authorised.Vishvaraj Mewar, a member of the ex-royal mewar family said: “Much of the architecture in the old city have been destroyed and the centuries old established system of water management have been altered which can prove to be disastrous in time to come. There are many cities in the world that have secured their heritage and moved with the times. We seem to have done neither,” he added.Meanwhile district collector Tarachand Meena was contacted in this reference but he was unavailable for a reply.



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