SURKHET, Jan 16: Once a beautiful lake covering an area of 12 hectares in the middle of a dense jungle, Baraha Lake of Surkhet has turned into a pasture after drying up. Provincial government of Karnali has prepared a master plan to restore the lost glory of the lake.
The master plan was designed by Smart Engineering and Design Solution and the project will take five years for completion.
The five-year plan has proposed three solutions for reviving the lake. In the first phase, they will uproot wild grasses from the dried lake. Then the second phase's work will be to fill the lake with water from the Bheri River by lift technology. Lastly, the third phase will see tree plantation program, renovation of Barah temple and construction of view tower along with other structures.
The authorities have estimated a budget of Rs 84.1 million for carrying out this plan. However, for the first year, only Rs 7.2 million has been allocated. Ministry of Industry, Tourism, Forest and Environment of Karnali Province has also allocated Rs 1 million for this plan. Chief Secretary Kebal Bhandari informed that they will require Rs 4.5 million to restore the lake to its original condition, while the construction of structures will cost Rs 52.9 million. Furthermore, the preservation of the lake would need additional Rs 2.5 million. The dried up lake has become a matter of concern for the rural municipality as it has been named after the lake. Chairman Tej Bahadhur Basnet said, “Since the rural municipality is named after the lake, without the lake's existence, we are facing pressure to change the name of the rural municipality.”
Similarly, Binod Man Bista, a member of the provincial assembly said, “The lake is not only important from tourism point of view but also from the bio-diversity in flora and fauna it has. So, it's a must to bring the lake to its old state.”