Udaipur : In a letter to the divisional commissioner and Collector, the members of the Jheel Sanrakshan Samiti, an organization working for the wellness of water bodies in and around Udaipur, have demanded to declare Badi lake as an Eco-sacred water body. Secretary Anil Mehta, a water scientist said in his letter that despite clear cut instructions from the High Court in April 2017, no concrete efforts had ever been made for the conservation of Mahasheer fish also known as Tiger of Lakes, for its huge size is an endangered variety that survives only in non polluted water sources.
Mahasheer that once used to be found in large numbers in Badi Lake, their number is gradually declining due to the increasing level of pollution and no efforts of conservation taken to keep Badi Lake clean. Female Mahasheer is known to swim against the flow to several kilometers to the upper streams to spawn and the eggs are said to hatch naturally by rolling downwards with the water. Existence of Mahasheer is considered to be an indicator of its superior water quality and declining number suggests increasing level of pollution that makes difficult for the variety to thrive.
Illegal fishing is another threat to the endangered Mahasheer, Mehta claimed. ” The eco system of Badi lake is similar to that of the Himalayan eco system and in face of any threat to the Himalayan system, Badi lake can serve the purpose of a gene bank for the preservation of aqua varieties found there” Tez Rajdan, another member of JSS said. The activists also said that years ago there were over 50 species of fishes that dwelled in various water bodies of Southern Rajasthan, however only few are found now. The volunteers demanded a proper conservation plan to be taken up for restoration and upkeep of water bodies and preservation of the aquatic life found in them.