The Kanakan lake in Puducherry is well-renowned for its magnificent beauty and significance in the lives of the city’s inhabitants, as it also serves as one of the largest sources of freshwater in the union territory.
Today, the lake is battling for its survival as it continues to be choked by untreated sewage and industrial effluents. These not only pollute the water, but also supplement the growth of water hyacinths in huge numbers, that hinder the movement of boats and vessels.
The Kanakan lake has been neglected, and it is on the verge of dying. Even though many residents approached concerned authorities (Lt. Governor Dr. Kiran Bedi) to highlight this issue, and several departments were requested to effect change and help in the lake’s revival, the lake’s situation remains pitiful.
In June 2019, it was reported that the Kanakan lake had become a “depository” of pollution as untreated pollutants were frequently discharged from Indira Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, as well as industries in Mettupalayam.
Since then, the water body has been regularly visited by volunteers and government offcials, who have been taking numerous measures to conserve the lake. Governor Kiran Bedi also led an initiative to plant tree saplings along the lake, with the help of school students. These steps have helped transform the Kanakan lake phenomenally, but the zero-pollution goal has not been achieved yet.
The condition of the lake improved to some extent when the tourism department of Puducherry introduced reformative measures to protect the lake. By allowing boating and a variety of other activities to promote eco-tourism, the government was able to divert people’s attention from the Kanakan lake’s deplorable state.
Kanakan lake is plays a crucial role in Puducherry’s ecology, economy and helps meet the domestic water requirements of hundreds residing in the area. Temporary measures are not sufficient; additional laws and stringent conservation measures are needed to save the precious water body.