the polluted lakes of Udaipur, some of which have dried up to 60 per cent, may finally get a fresh lease of life. Acting on a petition filed by the Jheel Sanrakshan Samiti ( jss ), an Udaipur-based non-governmental organisation ( ngo ), the Rajasthan High Court has ordered the government officials concerned to develop a time-bound action plan on cleaning up the lakes of Udaipur. The courts hauled up the officials, warning them with dire consequences if they continued to fail in their duties. Concerned that the lakes of Udaipur are silted up and drying, the court directed that these lakes be desilted before the onset of the monsoon this year.
For the jss , which has been working towards cleaning up these lakes since 1992, the judgement has come as a shot in the arm. Udaipur lakes, to which the city owes its identity, are in a pitiable condition. The beautiful lakes are now turning into cesspools, largely due to the dumping of heaps of waste and garbage, uncontrolled growth of water hyacinth and heavy siltation. As a result, groundwater levels have also fallen. "The situation is alarming. If we don't capture the rains, there could be drought in Udaipur,' fears Tej Razdan, secretary of jss .
A sustained campaign Since 1969, a large number of Udaipur residents have been actively participating in programmes to clean up the lakes. But ever since the jss was formed in 1992, their protests have found a formal platform. Initially, the jss tried to involve
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