Badkhal lake dries up

Unplanned mining for granite and marble in the Aravalli ranges has transformed Badkhal lake in Haryana from a tourists' delight to a dry, rocky terrain.

Located a stone's throw away from Delhi, the lake was developed by the Haryana tourism department into a popular tourist resort. The lake was formed by joining the base of two hillocks and constructing a bundh. It served to control flood waters and soil erosion in the area.

However, regular blasting has denuded the hillside and debris has blocked the flow of rain water to the lake's reservoir. This has been documented by the Geological Survey of India, which clearly indicted the mineowners. Rathole mining, in which the diameter of the tunnels is very small, has also prevented the growth of vegetation.

The state tourism department is at its wit's end, unable to reverse the damage. And, visitors to Badkhal are shocked at the barren vista that has replaced the once sylvan lake side.