Darjeeling to get a fresh new lake

In a bid to better the drinking water supply to the hill town, the Bengal government has sanctioned Rs 2.1 crore for setting up of a fourth lake at Senchel near Tiger Hill.

“The digging of the fourth lake should ideally take about a year. Once completed, it will have a capacity to store 7 million gallons of water,” said a source.

A part of the Rs 52-crore Darjeeling Water Supply Pumping Scheme, efforts are on to immediately start on the project and tenders will be floated within a month, the source said.

“This new lake will not only ease water supply to the town to a large extent, it will also help the Balason river project, which will take around five years to be over. Once that project gets over and water from the river, situated 50 km away, is pumped to the town, the new tank at Senchel will serve as a reservoir for it,” the source said.

There are already two lakes — the North and South Senchel lakes — that provide the drinking water for Darjeeling town.

These two tanks, one with a storage capacity of 20 million gallons of water and the other and 13 million gallons, are fed by water from jhoras in the catchment area and also from a third lake, situated at a slightly lower altitude at Sindhap. The new one will help store additional water, tapped from the jhoras in the catchment area, besides that from the Sindhap lake and the Balason, the source added.

To provide some relief to the drinking water problem, the Balason Drinking Water Project was proposed, for which the stone laying ceremony was held in 2004. Work for the Rs 40-crore plan is, however, yet to take off.

According to the plan, drinking water was supposed to be pumped from the Balasun river, situated 50 km from the hill town, to the Senchel lakes, from where the water was to be supplied across the Darjeeling town. Though it was supposed to be a joint venture of the state, Centre and DGHC, the hill council later decided not to undertake it as it felt the costs were too high.

The Sindhap lake usually pumps water from the Bangla jhora and is estimated to hold around 10 million gallons of water. The main object of this tank is to feed the North and South lakes.

Source: The Telegraph