India making efforts in restoration of 142 lakes - NN Meena

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Jaipur, Oct 29 (UNI) India has taken up two ambitious programmes for conservation, restoration and management of lakes and wetlands involving 142 water bodies -- of which 25 have been declared internationally important under the Ramsar Convention.

Speaking at the inaugural session in the 12th World Lake Conference -- Taal 2007 -- here today, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Namo Narain Meena said Wetlands Conservation Programme had identified 94 nationally important wetlands of which 25 had been declared internationally important under the Ramsar Convention.

Mr Meena said India's efforts in restoring the ecology of Chilka Lake of West Bengal by re-establishing its connection with the sea, had been recognised globally by Ramsar Conservation Award 2003. The Bhoj wetland in Bhopal had also earned international acclaim for its integrated management efforts.

Other major wetlands being extensively managed included lake Harike in Punjab, Wular in Jammu and Kashmir, Loktak in Manipur, Vembanad in Kerala, Kolleru in Andhra Pradesh and Sambhar Lake in Rajasthan, Mr Meena said.

Besides this, the National Lake Conservation Plan did focus on pollution abatement and water quality management in urban and semi-urban lakes. The programme was supporting activities in 48 lakes in 13 states. The prominent among these are Lake Dal in Srinagar, Nainital and Bhimtal in Uttarakhand, Ooty and Kodaikanal in Tamil Nadu and Powai in Mumbai, he added.

For Lakes in Rajasthan, the Centre was supporting conservation of Mansagar Lake(Jal Mahal) in Jaipur and had recently approved restoration projects for Anasagar Lake in Ajmer and Nakki Lake at Mount Abu, Mr Meena said.

Besides this, proposals for rejuvenation of Pushkar Lake in Ajmer and Pichola and Fatehsagar lakes in Udaipur were also under active consideration by the Centre, the minister added.

UNI

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