Training Programme on Urban Lake Management

Part I - Basic - Theory, science, practice, tools, approaches, Regulatory framework 
Date: October 15 to 18
Field visits
Date: October 19 to 21
Part II - Advanced - Studio on Urban Lake Management Plan
Date: October 22 to 25
Venue:  Anil Agarwal Environment Training Institute (AAETI), Nimli, Rajasthan 

Part I - Basic - Theory, science, practice, tools, approaches, Regulatory framework 

The training programme on urban lake management started with inauguration session at School Planning and Architecture (SPA), Delhi on 14th October where Dr Sanjukkta Bhaduri, Dean Research SPA addressed the participants and provided her insight on lakes in cities and urban planning. It was followed by Dr Suresh Kumar Rohilla, Senior Director, Water Programme, Centre for Science and Environment session on 'about CSE' and training's introduction. Lastly Dr Meenaskshi Dhote, HOD, EP, SPA gave thanking remarks for CSE to provide a platform for students of Environmental Planning (EP) Department from SPA to be part of training and build upon their studio problem on 'water bodies of Delhi'.

The training sessions at AAETI began on 15th October, with a brief training outline followed by interactive introductory sessions and room mapping exercise of participants as an ice-breaker.

A pre- assessment quiz was conducted which was followed by a detailed session on the overview of concepts and science of Urban Lakes by Ms. Shivali Jainer, CSE. She talked about the classification, physical and chemical characteristics, issues, significance and role (functions) of urban lakes. She also talked about the policy and programmes related to urban water bodies in India and thoroughly explained the science of urban lakes including topics like lake transparency, stratification, watershed, lake zones, source of water etc. followed with some case examples. This session was supported by a brainstorming exercise for the participants to identify the threats and recognize the potential benefits of urban lakes in the context allotted to them.

Taking the concepts forward, Dr. Ridhi Saluja from Wetlands and International South Asia, talked about water security and wetlands. This session focused on the significance of wetlands in urban area, conventional and contemporary approaches for wetland management, stakeholder analysis and limited public policy response towards it. She also showcased some of the case studies on urban vulnerability, long term implications, landscape alteration and water quality of wetlands. She concluded the session with discussing the water management objectives and integrating wetlands in water management.

This session was followed by showcasing the documentaries on Restoration of Neela Hauzlake using natural process and sponge cities concept in China by Ar. Kongjian Yu. This was followed by a skype call presentation on a success story of Jakkurlake, Bengaluru by Mr. Vishwanath (Zen Rain Man). He talked about the crucial role of different stakeholders (communities in particular) in the process of lake rejuvenation and management.The day was concluded with a brief presentation of green and sustainable technologies of AAETI with a tour of the campus, showcasing the green sustainable features like HVAC.

Day two began with an interesting reflection session with the participants, taking the concepts forward, Ms. SahanaGoswami of WRI, India talked about blue green infrastructure five theories of Urban lake Restoration by taking a case of Hyderabad and other case examples. Then the session was followed by a tour of the AAETI Campus, showcasing the water features: RWH and wastewater management.

The day was then followed by a skype call session with Mr. Manu Bhatnagar, INTACH, on Pollution abatement of waterbodies and lakes, presenting a case of Hauz Khas, Assi Nadi etc. Taking the session forward Mr. Arun Krishnamurthy of Environmentalist foundation of India, took a very engaging and interactive discussion on lakes restoration initiatives on ten case studies of lakes from South India. He concluded the day with a thought that the lakes are not for recreation but they are a natural habitat.

Day three was dedicated to governance, legal framework/ policies and in-situ interventions. The day was started with a reflection session with the participants. It was taken forwarded by Lt. Col. Oberoi who divided the participants into three groups to discuss on different legal aspects related to environment. The session was left open and will be continued on 22nd October. The next session was taken by Ms. Shivali, CSE, on understanding of catchment for sustainable lake management with the help of two case studies from bodh Gaya and bijnor.

With a focus on designing of constructed wetlands, Mr. Bhithush Luthra, CSE, covered the technical and calculative aspects of designing a constructed wetland. This session was supported by a brainstorming group Exercise. Taking the planning and designing forward, Mr. KarthikRavichandran of CDD gave a presentation on lake rejuvenation, generic strategies and interventions by taking the case studies of mahadevapura lake, Bengaluru, rejuvenation of allepy canal, allapuzha and proposal for drain remediation in Dwarka.

The day ended with hands on group exercise of catchment delineation of upper lake, Bhopal, Pashan lake, Pune, Hussain sagar lake, Hyderabad.

The last day of Part I of the training programme was started with a detailed session by Dr. T.V. Ramachandran on urban wetlands. He talked about the ecological approach, lakes and water quality control for Bellandur and Varthurlake, Bengaluru along with other initiatives and case examples. 

Field visits

After the session the team and participants departed for Rajokarilake, Delhi as lake rejuvenation project case Study. The Rajokari lake rejuvenation project case study was explained in detail with a tour of site by Mr. Yusuf Arsiwala, former senior consultant, Delhi Jal Board.

The next day, all the participants departed to Sultanpur National Park, Gurugram. There, Mr. Ram Kumar, caretaker and guide at Sultanpur National park took a tour of the national park with participants giving all the necessary details of all the flora- fauna available there. The participants were provided with binoculars to look closely and map a lot of fauna, avian species present in the area.

Day six started with a field visit to Dwarka lake Rejuvenation sites. Mr. Diwan Singh, Activist, Coordinator, Yamuna Satyagraha, accompanied by Captain P.S. Mann enlightened the participants with their experience through revival of Pochanpur Lake, sector 23, Dwarka. Mr. Diwansingh provided key inputs on the technical aspects, stakeholder analysis and implementation and management of lake management strategies. There were two other sites which were also covered in Dwarka, one was Trunk Drain and the second one was a dried up lake at Bharat Vandana forest, Sector 20, Dwarka. Mr. Diwan Singh also conducted a post monsoon ground water level test at the site.

The last day for the case study field visit was reserved for Najafgarh jheel, which lies in Gurugram Haryana and partly at South west part of Delhi. The field visit was covered by Ms. Ritu Rao, INTACH who explained in detail the case of Najafgarh Jheel. She talked about the case in three parts, including history, physical characteristics and water loss of the lake, and then she talked about the current water scenarios and development activities in the catchment and lastly explained the role of INTACH respectively. She also talked about the avian species found in the area. After this session, everyone had lunch and departed for AAETI Campus, Neemli, Rajasthan. 

Part II - Advanced - Studio on Urban Lake Management Plan

Part two of the training programme began on 22nd October, with an overview recap session of the learning so far and field visits by participants in groups. This was followed by a detailed session on the lake rejuvenation, on field observations with case examples of four lakes in Bengaluru by Mr. Anand Malligavad. This was followed by a session of questions and answers by Lt. Col. Oberoi on legal framework and policies.

Taking the concepts forward, Mr. Dhruv Pasricha, CSE, introduced the study area, Damdama Lake, and presented all the important details of the area in brief. This was followed by a session on urban lake management plan by Ms. Shivali, CSE. She talked about the four steps involved in management planning i.e. Identifying stakeholders, identifying concerns, developing visions, goals, objectives and actions and implementing and monitoring progress.

The rest of the day was allocated for the studio work; the participants were divided into three groups dedicated to 3P's, Planet, People and Profit covering different aspects of the study area. The participants were required to frame the action plan for data collection, identification of the stakeholders and field visit on the next day. Each group was also provided with relevant maps and factsheet on Damdama Lake, providing necessary information.

The second day of the training programme was reserved for the field visit to Damdama Lake and its catchment area. There was a detailed discussion with the Sarpanch of Damdama village, Mr. Saurash Khatana explaining the stakeholdership of the catchment area of lake, physical, social, and cultural linkages of the villagers with the lake, and past and future development interventions in the catchment area. The students were left to interact with various stakeholders in and around lake. The participants divided themselves in groups and further explored the neighboring village and got to survey the villagers. Post- lunch the participants were taken for a hike down- stream to the lake catchment to understand the physical aspects of it, like the landuse, vegetation, flora- fauna and various activities happening in the lake. The day ended with departure for AAETI in the evening.

The third day started with a reflection session in which the participants divided into three groups of Planet, People and Profit discussed about their key findings from the field survey. This was followed by Mr. Mohit Ray, he explained in detail about Economic Benefits of Urban and Peri- Urban Wetlands. His session also included an exercise in five groups. All the groups got one case of a lake and had to evaluate its economic value and additional improvements/ developments for its economic management.

Post- lunch the participants engaged in the exercise of identification of issues and challenges, which they analysed through the secondary data so far and primary survey from the field visit respectively. This was followed by group exercises on vision, goals, objectives and action plan. The group work sessions were extended post-dinner and with a lot of enthusiasm, participants worked in their respective groups to prepare the lake management plan. 

The final day of the training programme begin with the presentations of each of the three groups. Ms. Gita Kavarana, Director, AAETI came to attend the presentation as jury. Each group was given 15 minutes to present followed by 5 minutes of question and answers. All the groups presented their case with their aspect of Planet, People and Profit, and provided holistic short-term, medium- term and long- term strategies.

The session was concluded by Ms. Gita CSE, with her suggestions and feedback on all the presentation followed by distribution of certificates to the participants. The training ended with a feedback sessionconducted by Ms. Shivali, CSE to understand the areas of improvement and identify participants who would be willing to be a part of long-term network with CSE.



List of Participant


The balance of the teaching,exercise, field work and timing was perfect. It was a refreshing learning experience.
Sudeshna Gupta, IIT Guwahati
It was an intensive and fruitful learning for me as we learnt all the aspects of lake management from technical and social part. It is going to help me on implementation on ground interventions related water body with a holistic and sustainable approach
VidurShresth, Sabuj Sangha
The sessions were really systematic and well planned.
Nirjhar, SPA Delhi
Overall it was an excellent learning with amazing people and mentors we had.
Pallavi Raj, IndusInd Bank
It was an amazing experience. I really look forward to applying all the learnings in my thesis and then get back to CSE with on ground work.
Kajal Neha, SPA Delhi