I have seen Mansagar Lake drying for several years. I have seen it stinking for several years. It was also used as place for immersion of idols after the festival season. I have seen encroachments taking place on its banks. I have seen it being given on lease for raising wheat crop in winter season as early as 1969. I have seen it being filled with water Hyacinth Terror of Bengal plant. I have seen it being used as an open toilet system by inhabitants of the area. Then there was a talk to give it on lease or RTDC will develop it as a tourist spot.
Over the years it started being developed. Roadside was developed with some pavements etc. When some activities started and hundreds of tractors were working day and night for years and not for days and bringing sand and filling and leveling one side of the lake no one cared because people saw a fence. A notice board. Some guards. Fence prevented illegal activities . People must have felt relieved that now this area will be clean and free from stinking smell or encroachments. People started seeing water in lake for last 4years. No one bothered who was doing it.
However when I looked from the top of the hills I was also annoyed that some part of the lake was covered with sand and some road is made on one side of the lake. It was interference with the ecology for better or for worse ? One can also see encroachments and colonies developed on extreme end of the lake from hill top which was once upon a time part of water body.
I look this issue primarily from the side of protection of water bodies. I have seen Ramgarh lake drying and its land being captured by various interest groups. If the Mansagar lake will dry up ( it did dry up for some years),some societies of mighty fellows would have cut some plots for the rich and made more five star hotels in the area. What has prevented this from happening?
I am not advocating anyone but let us be honest . How many water bodies we have saved? What is happening to different dams in and around Jaipur.
There has to be some kind of involvement of rich and mighty of Jaipur to prevent encroachments, pollutions. If public bodies have failed to keep water bodies intact time and again at different places what is more important : continued control of local bodies or public bodies with poor resources and will to check encroachments or taking over by some private bodies to build some kind of tourist spot andsaving the lake from encroachments? It is a matter of discussion and impartial soul searching. Hundreds of sq miles have been encroached in Jaipur from Hills and forests in and around Jaipur. Almost entire city stinks inside the walls and now outside the walls also due to garbage. Entry roads to Jaipur on highway side are used as dumping grounds for the city garbage. Jal Mahal would also have ended in one such garbage site. (Garbage was indeed dumped on one side of the lake).
The entire issue needs to be examined in the light of reality . Nobody is above law and once a verdict comes from Law it has to be followed unless challenged.I am not discussing here any legal aspect. I only wish to point out the reality in terms of happenings over the years.
Will someone have the courage to speak the truth and save the dying city of Jaipur