Study on Kaliyasot Lake

— by Pranjal K, July 22 2021 —

Situated in the capital city of Madhya Pradesh, Bhopal, the Kaliyasot Dam is one of the most important features of the city. It is an important source of water for the local citizens. It is a storage reservoir, located near the Chuna Bhatti village of Bhopal district which is recently being urbanized to a great degree. It is the second most important source of water supply to the city after the Upper Lake, for over 10,000 Ha of agricultural land in Bhopal and Raisen [1]. The dam was constructed for irrigation and has become one of the most popular recreational spots for people, located away from the dense, urbanized city and surrounded by hills and woods. It is fed by the Kaliasot river, a tributary of Betwa. The Upper Lake too spills into the reservoir through the Bhadbhada Dam over its downstream. The dam derives its name from KalyanStrote, one of Raja Bhoj’s ministers who developed the Upper Lake spillway [1].

The National Park of Bhopal ‘Van Vihar’ is situated in the catchment area of Kaliasot River, which also has some scattered settlements. The flow of this river is very limited except in the monsoon season and is around 29 km long [2]. Today, crowds flock around the lake for long drives and sunsets. It also has over 11 freely moving crocodiles and many tigers which are seen basking around its edges, but have become a major life threat due to attacks, and hence locals are advised to take precautions around the dam premises.

The earthen homogeneous dam is 34.25m high and 1080m long, with a width of 6.30m on top [3]. It has a full reservoir level of 505.67 m and maximum water level of 505.67m [3]. It has a gross storage capacity of 35.387 cubic meters, and live storage of 34.41 cubic meters with a discharging capacity of 1355 cumeces [3]. It has 13 radical gates that are 6.40 m x 4.57 m in size [3].

Source: Openstreetmap

Physicochemical Properties

2Electrical Conductivity865.3 µmhos/cm
3Turbidity28.8 NTU
4Total Solids398 mg/L
5TDS291 mg/L
6SS105 mg/L
7Nitrate11.1 mg/L
8Phosphate5.58 mg/L
9Chloride130 mg/L
10DO3.4 mg/L
11BOD24 mg/L
12COD115.1 mg/L
13Alkalinity313 mg/L
14TH228 mg/L
15Ca-H87 mg/L
16Mg-H141 mg/L
17Sodium91.51 mg/L
18Fluoride0.77 mg/L
Source: Silawat, R; Chauhan, R; Analysis of Water Quality of River Kaliyasot, Bhopal, (M.P.) 2021

Present Situation

The Kaliasot river which primarily feeds the reservoir is undergoing high environmental stress because of human encroachment, high microphytic growth, siltation, pollution which is reflected by its physicochemical properties.

  • The water of the reservoir is suitable for pisciculture, indicated by a higher than average pH value [2]. The dam had been widely used for fishing but crocodile attacks have become a persistent threat. Recently, a fisherman was killed at the dam [4].
  • Unmonitored addition of industrial waste in the river has resulted in higher turbidity of the lake, which increases in monsoon due to run off carrying organic materials.
  • The reservoir is comparatively less polluted due to lack of dense settlements along its edges and because of a protected wetland area (Van Vihar National Park). It’s surrounding area is also composed of national educational institutions on hilltops and hence anthropogenic pollution largely remains limited. Activities like washing, bathing, and animal washing have also been reduced because of crocodile attacks.
  • The terrain around the lake results in siltation and pollution due to organic waste. The values of inorganic contents remain low or within the limits, when studied at various locations in the lake and river.

Possible Solutions

  • Due to lack of development in the fringes of the reservoir, there is fortunately still time to strictly monitor its conditions and prevent unregulated construction around it. A demarcation of a non construction zone needs to be established of at least 30m.
  • There should be regular desilting in the reservoir to maintain its natural capacity.
  • A stronger solid waste management should be maintained for visitors and in the local settlements.
  • It is of utmost importance to monitor the water at its sources. Due to the presence of two dams at both of its ends, there is a better possibility to regularly check water quality and identify polluting agents.
  • It is increasingly becoming a popular recreational spot, especially because of the pandemic as people search for open outdoor spaces with nature. It is a really good opportunity to plan and design its surroundings properly without excessive construction. Smaller scale businesses and vendors can be encouraged but with proper management of waste.
  • Since the water mostly tends to be stagnant and branches into the land, there is a high possibility for eutrophication. Regular deweeding and cleaning up should be carried out to maintain the health of the reservoir.


[1] Venodha, P. M. (2016). Landscape Degradation and Restoration — A Planning Approach. 7(3), 3–7.

Journal, A. P. R. (2021) Journal of Science and Technological Researches

[2] Silawat, R; Chauhan, R; Analysis of Water Quality of River Kaliyasot, Bhopal, (M.P.) Journal of Science and Technological Researches  India Journal, A. P. R. (2021).

[3] Singh, Yogesh; Kataria, H. C. (2008). Studies on water quality of Kaliyasot Dam , Madhya Pradesh , India. Current World Environment Vol 3 (1) 147–152 (2008)


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