Mathura, 2018.01.04 (VT) Police freed up over 100 acres of land to refill a lake on the outskirts of Mathura. The lake dried up around 40 years and was being used as farmland. The area had been declared as a reserve in colonial times, however the wetland had dried up and farmers started illegally occupying the land.
Over two years ago, the project to recreate the wetland environment was approved, however pressure from those who had occupied the land impeded the work. On the orders of SDM Sadar Krantishekhar Singh, Irrigation Department officials and Farah police removed the encroachments.
The area of the lake is extensive and the Irrigation Department has further increased the size of the reserve. The lake spans from Farah district in Mathura to Fatehpur Sikri and connects with Agra’s Keetham Lake (Sur Sarover), which is a national bird sanctuary.
On Tuesday, water from the Agra canal was diverted into the lake bed and, once again, it became a wetland. It was not long before the birds from the sanctuary made their way in to explore their new territory.
The lake was previously known as Jodhpur Jhal, but will now be known as Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay Sarover, because it is close to Upadhyay’s home town.
Activists from the Jaladhikar Foundation campaigned for a year to get the Government to take action to restore the lake. Rajiv Saxena, who spearheaded the campaign, said he feels thankful to all the volunteers who helped to put pressure on the Government to get the project underway.
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