Today I am not writing on how much importance lakes keep in life of Udaipurites, everybody knows it, infact feels it. Example of our ecstatic joy surpassed recently after monsoons and with it again began questions, counter replies, discussions, concerns, a lot was spoken and written but what actually happened was an eerie bug in my mind. This bug got somewhat relaxed yesterday when I attended discussion meet organized by Lake Conservation Committee.
Sitting under the banner of Dr. Mohansingh Mehta Memorial Trust were Mahendra Singh, the same man behind initiating a movement to replace idols by paintings of God, Abdul Aziz Khan, Former Chairman Taziya Commitee, a concerned Udaipurite who agreed to not submerge Taziyas in lakes, Maharaj Viramdev, Mehant of Meladi Mata Mandir, who joined hand with Mahendra Ji and agreed to keep all idols at temple arena which were subjected to be drowned in lakes and Dr. Tej Rajdan, Secretary of Lake Conservation Committee, a very thoughtful and keen citizen who does not fear to even question policy makers.
The crude facts revealed in this discussion will clear your concerns, if you think that beauty of lakes gets harm just by throwing some plastics or maize rinds. Reality is far beyond what shallow water shows us, it’s very deep indeed. A man who loves diving is going to Fatehsagar every day since past 25 years, but he just dodged death when he passed from middle of a tree guard lying deep in lake. Rajiv Mathur is this person who didn’t discovered any hidden treasure but endless coconuts, dead dogs, mice, beer bottles, shaving leftovers, human skulls, Narmund (only human head), idols, camel shit, doughs, bundles of letters, epics etc. and took out these things silently.
With extinction of other optional resources of drinking water, lakes have become the major saviour to fulfill demand of it but to a great dismay lacks of liters is going waste either by leaks or sewerage inter fusion and polluted by heaps of waste. In Udaipur, sewerage lines and water supply lines run parallel leading to mixing and with increasing population and encroachments nearby lakes, all the filth is going in it.
When this water was tested, it was said forget about drinking it’s not even worth to touch!!! Live example of this pathetic situation is Gadiya Devra where god idol is surrounded by stinking water, the same situation aroused in 2006 too. At that time it was inspected by former Mayor Mr. Ravindra Shrimali and former Home Minister Mr. Gulab Singh Kataria, reports were made, assurance was given, that was the time and today it is, God is still standing in same sad condition.
This time it is a great applause for public forefronts that took responsibility and came forward with one solution of paintings instead of idols; this small step is a great beginning of a reform in coming times. It was not easy though as religious faith had to be preserved with caution.
According to Mahant, no epic advocates of submerging idols after festivity gets over, this culture came with evolving times and adaptation of new traditions. This time it was religious issue that is why it was done with mutual understanding but at some point we really need legalized policies and regulation. Here comes role of city administration which instead of fooling citizens by glitz of musical pillars and fountains should seriously act in combating major problems of leak, sewerage and waste in lake waters. Other lakes like Swaroopsagar, Roopsagar also has potential to attract citizens and divert increasing traffic at Fatehsagar, if developed with appropriate planning. Solutions are many but nothing will happen till administration will keep passing the ball between various departments.
These time to time discussions, thoughtfulness, solutions shows how much awakened we are as Udaipurites!! So, it’s not that public lack in awareness it is, are we as a public working so much that our administration is sitting ideal!!! Facts are not hidden from them, earlier a specialist Government engineer gave solution to the faults causing leaks but it was not approved, gate got opened in mid nights to swept away filth of Swaroop Sagar, there is no law governing safety of lakes but administration is sitting silent. Till when, public will jump to clean sewerage?
One feasible way is to take solutions from public, sit with engineers, work out the faults, make strict policies and penalize one who does not follow. We as a citizen are doing our part but it is high time for administration to genuinely feel for God’s sake that it is city of lakes!!!!