Indore, a bustling city in Central India has the privilege of being the Cleanliest City in India, 3 Years in a row. and after cleaning the streets and its garbage landfill area, it has now turned its attention towards cleaning & restoring its lakes and ponds
The power to make change
Indore, The Cleanest City of India is setting up an example with its lakes and pond restoration initiative. Police Training College at Musakhedi, Indore is leading the way with a spectacular pond restoration project.
The campus of PTC is already an oasis inside the city. With over 1 Lakh trees in just 100 Acres, of over 60 species of trees, 50 types of birds species, multiple water recharge dams and wells, tree houses, butterfly gardens, nursery, solar installations, dense forests, PTC campus was already the torch-bearer for eco-development.
But, over time the health of Nalanda Sarovar, a 10,000sqft artificial pond in the campus was deteriorating. The water was full of algae and had turned green in colour.
Enter, Priyanshu Kumath, an alumnus of IIT Bombay working in the field of water treatment and water-body restoration and is Founder & CEO of Clean-Water. He saw that the water in this rain-fed pond deteriorated over time. Leaves, branches from nearby trees would fall in the pond, decay and decompose, and pollute the water. The pond liner that held the water was also in tatters. He straight away decided to do something about it and to restore this pond.
Nalanda Sarovar’s restoration phases
After surveying the pond and taking water test results, Kumath realized that Nutrients such as Nitrogen and Phosphorous was the main problem in the lake. The dead leaves and branches of nearby trees decaying in the pond had caused the nutrients level to rise.
FloatingIslands are platforms which float on water and have plants planted on them. The roots of these plants eventually extend into the water. Bio-films which are colonies of friendly bacteria come and attach to the plant roots and bio-media underneath the Island.
Together the plants and the bio-film remove the unwanted nutrients from the water. This green technology is environment-friendly and is very low maintenance. The Island requires almost no maintenance and the plants require similar attention as to growing these plants on land.
Kumath soon realized that there is a lot of sludge deposited in the bottom of the pond and should be removed before the onset of the monsoons. His team pumped the remaining water out of the pond and began removing the sludge from the bottom of the pond. The existing fishes were re-located to a nearby well.
Once the pond was clean, the pond liner was also re-installed properly. A lining of cement blocks was created all around the pond to ensure that no further leaves fell in the pond. Kumath realized that the water quality in this stagnant pond can be further improved if this water is constantly re-circulated and aerated.
A bio-filter and aeration system was installed in the lake. This bio-filter pumps up the water from the lake, filters it in a filter with bio-media in it and then the water cascades back into the lake in the form of a waterfall. This ensures bio-treatment if water as well as aeration and oxygenation of the pond.
With the onset of the monsoons, the system rebooted. The water quality has improved significantly. New fishes which eat algae and muck at the pond bottom were added to the lake. Native species of fishes were preferred to put in the pond.
A ghat (steps) was also constructed to access the pond without harming the pond-liner. Unwanted trees which littered the pond premises were also removed. Fruit, flower and shade bearing trees have been planted all along the boundary of the pond.
The pond has also been decorated with plants such as rose, marigold, canna, etc.
Trees which will go up to 40 feet have been planted on the East & West side of the pond to form a wall which will provide the pond with extra 2 hours of shade daily. These trees will reduce the direct sunlight falling on the pond to prevent and reduce algae growth in the future.
Birds such as Lapwings (Titori), Cranes (bagoola), peacocks and many more are now coming to the pond which is a sign from the nature that this project is successful.
Residents of the Police Training College have started coming to the pond after their duty hours in the evening with their children to enjoy the pond.
Cities such as Indore,
Eco-campuses such as Police Training Centre,
Organisations like Clean-Water and
Water Warriors like Priyanshu, and are leading the way towards waterbody conservation and restoration.
To make a sustainable and healthier world for our future generation, we all need to also join the Water Army and restore what our previous generations have destroyed.
Let the future generations remember us as the Golden generation which restored the water resources and the environment and prevented humanity from a global environmental catastrophe.