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Campaign to save the green lung of Kolkata. Why it matters – Republic World

Rabindra Sarobar located in South Kolkata in West Bengal | Image:PTI

Calcutta: With a motive to prevent the deterioration of ‘Rabindra Sarobar’ in South Kolkata in West Bengal, the ‘Save Rabindra Sarobar’ forum, a citizen group working for the conservation of the national lake, on Monday appealed the state-run Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA). ) to establish a green barrier around the water body’s premises. Spokesperson of the committee and an environmentalist, Somendra Mohan Ghosh, stressed the urgent need to plant waist-high trees around the perimeter of the lake to mitigate the impact of vehicular emissions and protect the ecosystem.

The 192 hectare area, including the vast man-made water body and surrounding trees, was conceived in the 1920s by Cecil Henry Bompass, MR Atkins and Prabodh Chandra Chatterjee, and was later renamed Rabindra Sarobar in the 1950s.

Concerns about the lake’s future have arisen due to incidents of dead fish, tree uprooting and falling water levels in recent years

Somendra Mohan Ghosh stressed the importance of conserving the diverse ecosystem consisting of over a hundred bird and insect species and emphasized the need for a green barrier to combat air and noise pollution from nearby traffic on Southern Avenue.

Concerns over the future of the lake have arisen due to incidents of dead fish, uprooting of trees and declining water levels in recent years, prompting calls for action to protect this vital resource in South Kolkata .

While the KMDA official noted the ongoing efforts to remove debris, replant trees and plant new saplings, there are currently no immediate plans to erect a green barrier.

The forum cited an earlier NGT order that restricted land use in Rabindra Sarobar for conservation purposes only, and opposed attempts to lease out land to private entities.

Referring to the existence of three clubs in the lake area, activist Sumitra Banerjee said the forum was against allotment of land for commercial purposes.

However, a KMDA official said the clubs had long ago been granted a lease outside the core area with a promise that they would contribute to environmental conservation efforts.

The importance of Rabindra Sarobar

Rabindra Sarobar, formerly known as Dhakuria Lake, is a man-made lake, garden and park in South Kolkata in West Bengal. The name also refers to the area around the lake. It represents the green lungs of densely populated eastern India. According to claims, around 38 percent of the total area consists of the water body (Rabindra Sarobar), while a green belt dotted with age-old plants and trees comprises the remaining area. The lake was renamed ‘Rabindra Sarobar’ in May 1958 in honor of the Nobel laureate poet Rabindranath Tagore.

In 1997 the lake was given the status of a national lake.

Currently, the lake covers 73 hectares and its total area is 192 hectares. The entire region contains more than ten thousand trees. Many of these date from the time of the digging of the lake.

The lake surrounded by the green zone plays an important role in the city’s biodiversity.

The region provides a fresh dose of oxygen to the city’s polluted atmosphere, which is why the area is often referred to as the ‘lung’ of South Kolkata.

Today, the lake and surrounding areas are one of the most popular recreational areas in Calcutta. 73 hectares are covered by water, while shrubs and trees, some of which are more than 100 years old, occupy the rest of the area. A partial tree census in 2012 recorded 50 different species. In winter you can spot some migratory birds around the lake.

The lake is also home to many species of fish, but fishing is strictly prohibited. A number of people come for a walk around the lake in the morning to enjoy the fresh air. Many visit the sunrise point to offer their prayers to the sun. During the day it is visited by families on a picnic, tourists, young lovers and joggers.