The excavators have left the pond and quietness has reentered the compound. A lot has changed during the last weeks of restoration work.
The pond is located inside the Samuel Nagar burial ground in Manali and right next to a waste sorting facility. The pond was in bad shape at the start of the restoration, but now with the mechanical work over, it has developed into a waterbody with increased water-holding capacity.
Read more about the first steps of the restoration here:
The excavated silt from the pond bed has been effectively used to form and further strengthen the bunds. One off-shore and one on-shore bund have been established at Samuel Nagar. Due to the double bund structure, the water is forced to centralize in the middle of the waterbody. A better percolation rate can be achieved that way.
A clean-up was conducted to free the pond and its surroundings from big amounts of waste mostly out of plastics. If the waste gets in contact with water it is turning toxic.
On the east side of the pond, a slope was constructed. A weed bed will grow there after plantations start in September. The plantation of weeds and vetiver is beneficial in two ways. First, those plants have the natural ability to filter out pollutants from the water. Secondly, weeds are a perfect spot for waterbirds to stay and breed. Moorhens, coots and ducks use those to build their nests and grow their offspring.
To prevent future encroachments by humans a fence was built as the last mechanical step. Now it is harder to dispose waste of any kind on the bunds of the Samuel Nagar Pond.
But the work on the waterbody is far from over. Just removing silt and highering bunds are not enough to reestablish a pond. Further maintenance and plantations are needed. Native species will be planted along the bund. The roots are strengthening the bunds even more. And if the endemic bushes, trees and grass grow a native environment can be formed in the long run.