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Pavana Lake

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Pavana Lake
Location of Pavana Lake in India.
Location of Pavana Lake in India.
Pavana Lake
LocationMaval taluka, Pune district, Maharashtra, India
Coordinates18°40′30″N 73°29′10″E / 18.67500°N 73.48611°E / 18.67500; 73.48611Coordinates: 18°40′30″N 73°29′10″E / 18.67500°N 73.48611°E / 18.67500; 73.48611
TypeArtificial Lake
EtymologyPavana River/Pavana Dam
Built1973 (1973)
First flooded1973 (1973)
SettlementsPune, Mumbai

Pavana Lake, also known as Pavana Dam Reservoir and Pawna Lake, is a reservoir turned artificial lake in the Indian state of Maharashtra, formed by the Pavana Dam[1] across the Pavana River in Pune district.[2] The reservoir is 25 km from Lonavala and is increasingly getting popular as picnic and camping site for visitors from Pune and Mumbai.[3][4]

History

The reservoir was formed as a consequence of the Pavana Dam project in Maval taluka in 1973. The backwaters of the Pavana Dam formed a reservoir, and the Pavana Dam backwaters subsequently came to be known as Pavana Lake.

Tourism

In recent years, areas surrounding Pavana Dam and Pavana Dam Reservoir have seen a rapid rise in tourism due to the waterbody's proximity to Lonavala hill station and forts such as Lohagad, Tikona, and Tung. Various camping-site businesses have been started around Pavana Lake. Agro-tourism has also flourished. Pavana Lake attracts visitors mainly from the two major neighboring cities of Pune and Mumbai. Around 4,000 people from these two cities visit the lake every weekend.[5][6]

Ecological concerns and illegal activities

Due to the increasing commercialization of the nature and forest cover surrounding Pavana Dam and the banks of Pavana Lake, the backwaters and the ecosystem around the waterbody and dam are being negatively affected. In January 2018, after the death of a techie due to drowning, the Water Resources Department of the state government sent notices of eviction to 250 camping sites, alleging activities such as illegal consumption of liquor and drugs, boating in the dam reservoir, and causing damage to the local ecosystem.[7]

The catchment areas around the lake and the hills along the waterbody are being used by Bollywood actors, traders, industrialists, and sportspersons to build farmhouses and mansions, most of them illegal, destroying the biodiversity of Pavana Lake and surrounding areas and destabilising the terrain. In July 2018, a petition was filed with the National Green Tribunal's (NGT) Pune bench against such construction around the lake.[8]

In December 2018, a fisherman caught a giant alligator gar, a fish native to North America, in the Pavana Dam backwaters, again raising questions about the safety and illegal activities around the lake and its surrounding areas.[9][10]

References

  1. ^ "Things to know before visiting Pawna Lake". Pawna Lake Camping. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Harvesting Rainwater & Organic Food, This Green Lakeside Home Is a Labour of Love!". The Better India. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  3. ^ "6 ways to enjoy the Mumbai winter". Condé Nast Traveller India. 29 January 2019. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Enjoy a blissful rainy day at Pawna camping in Maharashtra". The Economic Times. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  5. ^ Chowdhary, Charu (12 April 2019). "Best Quick Getaways From Pune in April". India.com. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  6. ^ "This gorgeous house in Pavana is the perfect holiday getaway". Architectural Digest India. 7 June 2018. Retrieved 9 May 2019.
  7. ^ Vijay Chavan (25 January 2018). "Irrigation dept raps agro-tourism sites around the lakes". punemirror.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 21 December 2020.
  8. ^ "'Farmhouses of the wealthy are destroying Pavana Dam backwaters' - Pune Mirror". punemirror.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  9. ^ "Pune: Fisherman catches giant man-eater in Pavana dam - Pune Mirror". punemirror.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 21 October 2019.
  10. ^ PTI. "Predator North American fish found in Pune's Pavana Dam". @businessline. Retrieved 21 October 2019.