Sukhna Lake in Chandigarh is one of the major tourist attractions in the city that attracts visitors from distant places in the country and abroad. An inseparable part of Le Corbusier’s dream city Chandigarh, it was jointly created by Corbusier and the Chief Engineer P L Verma. Corbusier had the vision that the residents of city beautiful would be drawn towards the Sukhna Lake for the ‘Care of the Soul and Body’, and interestingly, the vision has accomplished!
The scenic Sukhna Lake (Chandigarh) which has the mesmerising Shivalik hills and magnetising Kasauli Hills in the backdrop has already been declared a protected national wetland by the Government of India but is in a bad shape that needs timely attention and measures to control the damage.
Drying of Chandigarh’s Sukhna Lake is a cause of concern
Surrounded by the forest area, Golf range and the Rock Garden in Chandigarh, large patches of the dry bed are easily visible when the Sukhna Lake starts drying. In the past few years, more than 50 percent of the water body dried giving way to the smelly underbelly of weeds resulting in limited boating area and adversely affecting the marine and birdlife. According to recent reports, the Sukhna Lake has shrunk nearly 57 % and is in really bad condition during the summers. The summers are becoming hotter which is equally affecting the residents as well as the lake. Rain-fed Sukhna is in a bad shape which is evident by its reducing diameter.
What does the data reveal?
- The Sukhna lake has an average depth of eight feet.
- The maximum depth has been marked at 16 feet.
- Water depth of the area where boating is allowed in a restricted area is approximately 3-4 feet.
- The Sukhna Lake, built in 1958, was initially spread over an area of 3 square kilometres but in a recent report (In 2016) the area under water was reported to have reduced to a mere 1.3 square km.
- The water level of the lake is down to about 1,151 feet now which was earlier registered in 2016 at 1,154 feet only.
Future of the Lake in Chandigarh
According to the findings of a study by a group of scientists from Roorkee’s National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) the life of the Lake was estimated to be seven decades years from now. The scientists have concluded this on the basis of study and the analysis that they have carried out since 2013. While bringing to light the future of Sukhna Lake the scientists warned the authorities that if immediate measures such as desilting are not taken the lake would not be able to sustain more than 75 years.
How to visit Sukhna Lake, Chandigarh
Located in Sector 1 Chandigarh the Sukhna Lake is easily commutable. It is approximately 5 km from the sector 17 ISBT, about 10 km from Chandigarh Railway station and around 17 km from the Chandigarh airport. The adjacent and nearby tourist spots near the Sukhna Lake include the man-made marvel — Nek Chand’s Rock Garden, Rose Garden, Museum and art gallery et al.