Nainital Lake – Nainital

Let’s revive The Nainital Lake,
dying every moment due to sewage and pollution, created by us

Naini – Tal Lake, as the name suggests Naini (नैनी) means “Eyes” and Tal (ताल) means “Lake” gets its name from the eyes of Devi Sati, wife of Lord Shiva. It is said that the shimmering green waters of the Nainital Lake is a reflection of the emerald green eyes of Devi Sati.

Situated in the Nainital district, called the Lake District of India, is a natural freshwater body, situated amidst the township of Nainital in Uttarakhand State of India, tectonic in origin, is kidney shaped or crescent shaped and has an outfall at the southeastern end. It is located in Kumaon region, Uttarakhand State at Coordinates of 29.4°N 79.47°, it is a natural lake of sweet water with a dimensions of length 1,432 m (4,698 ft) and a width of 457 m (1,499 ft), having a surface area of about 48.76 ha (120.5 acres) and a recorded depth of 27.3 m (90 ft). The Surface elevation from sea level would be about 1,938 m (6,358 ft).

THE HISTORY

Although the tradition records three sages, namely Atri, Pulastya and Pulahavisited, there in pre-Vedic period, and meditated here. Meditating on the sacred lake of Tibet namely Manasarovar Lake, they dug a hole here. So great was the power of their tapasya (meditation) that the hole soon filled with water, by their blessings the lake was imparted with divine powers that anyone can acquire divinity by taking bath in the lake, the same as in the Mansarovar lake, Tibet on Mount of Kailash. But in modern ages, the names of two foreigners is linked with the discovery of the Lake at Nainital.

One of them G. W. Traill, Commissioner of Kumaon and Garhwal, was the first European to set eyes on it in 1823. Nevertheless, the lake had been known for quite some time to herdsmen from villages nearby and held in great reverence as an abode of gods and spirits. G. W. Traill had great respect for the traditions and beliefs of the hill folk. To his way of thinking, crowds would violate the sanctity of the place and the lake, so he kept the discovery of the Nainital Lake strictly to himself.

On the other hand, historical records also confirm that in 1839, Mr. P. Barron, who is supposed to be the first one who visited Nainital, from Rosa, an English business man in sugar trade, on a hunting expedition accidentally coming across the lake at Nainital was so captivated that he decided to build a European Colony on shores of the lake. The news magazine, the Englishman Calcutta, reported in 1841 discovery of this lake near Almora.

TOPOGRAPHY

The lake is bounded by the high and steep Naina peak on the north west side, by the Tiffin Top to the south west side and snow view peaks on the north. Coniferous forest trees cover these hill ranges. The annual rainfall in the basin area of the lake is reported to be 1294.5 mm (43.15 inches). Tropical monsoon climate with maximum temperature 24.6 °C and minimum of 0.5 °C are recorded. The Krol group of rocks, comprising slates, marls, sandstones, limestones and dolomites with a few small dykes’ intrusives, is the dominant geological formation of the lake’s surroundings. The lake is deduced to have been formed tectonically. Balia Nala, which is the main stream feeding the lake is along a fault line and the subsequent streams align parallel to major joints and faults. 26 major drains feed the lake including the 3 perennial drains. The lake catchment has highly folded and faulted rocks due to poly phase deformation. Landslides are a frequent occurrence in the hill slopes surrounding the lake, which are steep. The slopes are highly vulnerable to landslides and mass movement due to various geological and human factors. Several landslides have occurred in the past around the lake. Many settlements around the lake are located in landslide areas

THE CLEANING ATTEMPTS & NEWS REPORTS

Cleaning of Naini Lake begins in Nainital

Sat, 14 Aug 2010-05:08pm , Nainital , ANI

Authorities began clean-up operations at the Naini Lake here, which is getting polluted due to garbage and sewage water. There are 62 sewage drains that open into the lake, and garbage strewn on the lakeside also flows in when it rains.

“In the rainy season, water comes from the pipe and drains above the hills and falls in the Nainital Lake. There are 62 drains. When it pours down, water comes down from it. People who live in the hilly area throw the garbage in the open and during the rains, this garbage, with the flow of rain water comes down, and falls into the lake,” said Neeraj Joshi, executive officer of Muncipal Corporation of Nainital.

Everyday, garbage is collected in boats by workers and unloaded at the lakeside from where it is taken away. The clean-up drive will continue throughout the rainy season. “Cleaning of the lake is taken up everyday and we are using boats to clean it. Garbage from the lake is taken out everyday. Permanent workers are doing this cleaning work and besides them, we have hired extra 40 labourers also for cleaning the lake and to look after it,” said Jagmohan, in-charge of the special cleaning drive.

The lake is famous for its natural beauty as it is set amid Himalayan peaks. It is also a favourite spot among tourists.

MOVE TO REVIVE A DRYING UP NAINITAL LAKE

Saturday, 06 February 2016 | PNS | Nainital | in Dehradun

In the absence of rain and snowfall this winter in Nainital, an alarming drop in the level of water in the famous Naini lake has broken a 25-year record and become a cause for concern for the authorities and others involved in varied commercial activities based on this lake and tourism. Such has been the drop in the lake’s water level that the lake delta has become visible due to receding water level. Taking serious cognisance, the Nainital district magistrate Deepak Rawat inspected the Naini lake with officials concerned on Friday.

After inspecting the lake’s delta near Tallital Danth, Fansi Gadera, India Hotel and Mallital boat stand, the DM directed officials concerned to get the detritus removed from the lake. He further said that a lake cleaning campaign will be conducted during the month of February. Rawat directed that the lake’s deltas should be cleared off using JCBs in addition to which participation of the public will also be sought for conducting the drive for cleaning the lake. With the considerable drop in the lake’s water level, the opportunity should be used to clean the deltas which will also bring about an increase in the water holding capacity of the lake. It is pertinent to mention here that the lake city Nainital has not seen rainfall for about five months now in this season taking the water level down to the lowest recorded in about 25 years. After conducting the inspection on Friday, the Nainital DM directed the officials concerned of Public Works Department construction division, Irrigation Department and the municipal council to clear the deltas exposed in February itself.

The PWD provisional division executive engineers SK Garg, SK Pande, Brijendra Kumar from the irrigation department, municipality executive officer Rohitash Sharma and other officials concerned were also present during the inspection by the DM.

THE WATER CHEMISTRY STUDIES

  • A research paper on Nainital Lake Water Quality report, namely “Water Chemistry of A National Lake of India: Lake Nainital, Uttarakhand”, was presented in “The 12th World Lake Conference: 209-216”, 2008.
    A comprehensive detailed study conducted by eminent scients of Department of Zoology, DSB Campus, Kumaun University, Nainital-263 002, India. The team included, P.K. Gupta, Surendra S. Nagdali, Priyanka Tewari, Nirmal Singh and Ragini Gupta

    The study revealed that, the water was alkaline throughout the year with annual average value of pH for the whole lake as 8.35. The secchi disc reading was very low. The water could be treated as ‘hard’. The concentration of dissolved oxygen in epilimnion was high but hypolimnion was anoxic almost for the whole year. The values of biochemical oxygen demand, nitrate-nitrogen, ammonium –nitrogen and phosphate- phosphorus were high. The concentration of free carbon-di-oxide in surface water was very low, sometimes nil. The concentrations of micronutrients, viz. copper, zinc, iron and manganese, and of fluoride were below the permissible limit of WHO. The lake experienced regular winter fish mortality

.

The yearlong study of the various parameters is depicted in the table below, for the whole year of 2006,

  • The Indian J.Sci.Res.1(1) : 15-19, 2010, published yet another interesting study of the Nainital lake, conducted by RAGINI GUPTA , P. BHAGAT , M. JOSHI , S. INAOTOMBI AND P.K. GUPTA, from Department of Zoology, D. S. B. Campus, Kumaun University, Nainital, India.

Published as “HEAVY METAL POLLUTION STATUS OF LAKE NAINITAL, UTTARAKHAND” the paper reported “Out of the 48 samples of water collected from different depths, iron and copper were detected 46% and 56%. Samples ranging from a mean concentration of 0.010 to 0.012 and 0.016 to 0.038 mg/l, respectively. Zinc, manganese and fluoride were detected in all samples ranging in concentration from 0.152 to 0.286, 0.007 to 0.008 and 0.96 to 1.047 mg/l, respectively. Arsenic was not detected in any of the samples analyzed. The concentration of all metals varied temporally as well as spatially. The overall mean concentrations of iron, copper, zinc, manganese, and fluoride for the whole lake were: 0.011 ± 0.001, 0.024 ± 0.017, 0.216 ± 0.061, 0.007±0.001 and 1.00 ± 0.05 mg/l. The results of the study suggested that concentrations of all the analyzed metals were within the prescribed limit of WHO and Indian Standard Drinking Water Specification. Thus the water was safe for drinking purposes after treatment.”

  • Year 2014, Hindawi Publishing Corporation published a yet another research under Advances in Environmental Chemistry vide Volume 2014, Article ID 473074. The Article titled “Water Quality Assessment of the Central Himalayan Lake, Nainital” was contributed by Madhuben Sharma of University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Bidholi, Dehradun, Uttarakhand 248007, India, and edited by Paul M. Bradley.

The study concluded, “that turbidity, total alkalinity, electrical conductivity, and heavy metal (lead, copper, and iron) were found to be above the desirable limit of BIS/ICMR/WHO standard in all four seasons at Mallital and Tallital. The lake water quality deterioration is caused by domestic sewage, surface runoff from nearby hills, deforestation, and natural activities (thermal stratification, lead-bearing rocks). Suitable lake restoration measures/interventions as mentioned above should be adopted to reduce anthropogenic discharges into the lake basin; otherwise, high levels of pollutants will bring about a negative effect on the lives of the surrounding population

Nainital Lake - Nainital

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