Bhubaneswar, August 18 (LocalWire): The picturesque Ansupa Lake, Odisha’s largest freshwater lake spread around two square kilometer stretch, is poised to get the much-needed facelift with the State Wetlands Authority (STA) allocating Rs 21.23 crore for its developmentThe 141-hectare, horseshoe-shaped fresh-water lake that once used to be a scenic spot has been dying over the years as its water inflow has been drying up.
Official reports indicate that there has been almost no water supply to the lake since 2014 and it has been choking to death and the silted area has been encroached by locals for paddy cultivation.
According to officials, the nutrient load from encroached and adjoining paddy fields are leading to eutrophication causing excessive richness of nutrients that is leading to the dense growth of plant life in the water body.
“Mechanical de-weeding to restore the water spread area along with catchment treatment for soil conservation has already been initiated.
From the funds approved by STA, the lake will be further rejuvenated. This will benefit about 250 fishermen residing in the nearby two villages,” chief executive and chief conservator of forest Susanta Nanda said.
The lake attracts 32 species of migratory birds during winter and it is an ideal destination for eco-tourism with the forest cover surrounding the lake.
“The tourist footfall here may rise if the lake is properly promoted.
The eco-tourists will relish the calm and tranquility of the lake and greenery on the periphery,” local officials stated.
The water of the lake was very clear and was used by the surrounding villagers for drinking, bathing and irrigation purposes.
It was also famous for its tasty sweet water fishes especially the Labeo bata which is locally known as pohala.
However, the ox-bow lake, an offshoot of meandering Mahanadi that sustained itself with the freshwater supply from the river during the rainy season needs to be revamped urgently and the plans of STA will certainly go a long way in restoring its past glory.