on april15, people living near Roopsagar lake in Udaipur were shocked to see bulldozers ripping apart its dry bed. "When I asked the contractor, I was told a 80-feet (about 24 metres) wide road was to be carved out in the peta (bed) of the lake,' says Ramlal Vaishnav, ex-councillor of Pahada area, where the lake is situated. The news spread like wildfire through the area. An irate crowd assembled at the site and got the work stopped. "This talaab is very important for us because when there is water in it, our wells are full. If any construction takes place here, our hand pumps will dry up,' says Naresh Vaishnav, a resident.
On April 18, the residents gathered again and took to the streets, led by Surya Prakash Upadhayay, husband of councillor Shipra Upadhayay. They vowed to stop any construction in Roopsagar. The involvement of the former and the present councillors lent the issue a political hue, leading to an extensive media coverage. And it then came to light that construction was taking place in almost every waterbody that had dried up in Udaipur.
Similar to the case of Roopsagar was that of Naila talaab whose embankment was cut to make way for a road.
But what was glaring about these two incidents was that not only did the