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Plans afoot for rejuvenation of Bindusagar in Odisha capital

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, April 22:

Water and Power Consultancy Services Limited (WAPCOS), a mini Ratna Company of the Government of India, has prepared a draft plan for rejuvenation and sustainable conservation of Bindusagar and its five periphery tanks in capital city of Odisha.

WAPCOS had presented its concept before stakeholders in a meeting was held at Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) office yesterday.

It organised a meet on the banks of the historic water body today.

While discussing with the locals, lawmakers and stakeholders, experts engaged by the Central organisation raised their concern over carefree disposal of religious offerings like human hair, `puja’ items like flowers and garlands including  use of soaps to take bath in the holy waters.

They requested the stakeholders to create awareness programmes rigorously so that communities residing nearby would be thinking twice before throwing anything in future inside the waters of Bindusagar .

While the expert body on water management took up Bindusagar as the central source for the revival of a water ecosystem, the five water bodies, it picked for the project, include: Devipadahara, Kotitirtha, Godipokhari, Ganga Jamuna and Godavari Kund.

In a nutshell, the project is based on the observations on the ecological and heritage perspective of Bindusagar and the nearby water bodies and how, communities, as major stakeholders would play a pro-active role in the conservation project in order to have a pure, deep and healthy water body so that all the annual religious functions of Lord Lingaraj would be organised with much fanfare and followings.

The WAPCOS team has carried out various surveys i.e. topographic, bathymetric, aquatic, terrestrial and sedimentation/soil quality surveys to know the details of the six important water bodies in the central part of the Old Town area.

The survey has found that there are 33 plant types, 10 shrubs, 37 herbs, 12 grasses, 3 climbers and 4 wetland varieties. There are nine types of zooplanktons in and around the lake.

The WAPCOS proposal has enlisted several measures like dewatering of the holy lake of 27 hectares, removal of the sedimentation layers from the tank bed, fresh water inflow from the nearby Daya river to Bindusagar and also other water bodies, in need of water flow and introduction of some select fish varieties, which would be able to eat out the overgrowing aquatic weeds.

To facilitate religious offering not polluting Bindusagar, the draft has proposed separate tanks (kund) near it so that the offerings like flowers and garlands would be thrown there, clearing of floating debris regularly from these `kunds’ and placing of aerators to maintain the dissolved oxygen level.

The suggestion of water supply from river Daya has been propped from near Lingipur with a 2 million litres per day (MLD) plant at Samantarapur.

Similarly fish species like Tilapia, Grass carp could be introduced with the technical help from the Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, Kausalyagang so that the weeds would be controlled by them.

The proposal has also given measures regarding the management of water with the other five tanks, associated with the proposal excepting the Ganga Jamuna tank, which needs no intervention as the stream is very active and it produces good quality of water throughout the year.