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Army deployed in Bhopal, albeit for a cause


Bhopal : The men in olive green were deployed here Friday, albeit for a cause with a difference. Joining the war against water crisis, 250 army personnel, took part in desilting the almost-dry Upper Lake.

The campaign to deepen the lake was launched by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan earlier this month under ‘Apna Sarovar, Apni Dharohar, Bada Taal Suraksha Abhiyaan’.

Since then several political leaders, government officials, students, NCC cadets and civilians have joined hands to deepen Bhopal’s lifeline whose catchment area has over the years been reduced to nine sq km from 361 sq km when it was orginally built.

Legend has it that the lake was built by Paramar dynasty’s Raja Bhoj who ruled Malwa from 1005-1055 AD and Bhopal is said to have derived its name from the lake ‘Bhoj ka taal’.

The men in uniform, which included 50 officers and 200 soldiers, helped in desilting the ‘Bada Talab’ or Upper Lake, so that it is able to store more water during the next monsoon.

Present on the occasion were Lt. General A.S. Lamba, Madhya Pradesh Urban Development Minister Babulal Gaur and other dignitaries, including the Bhopal Municipal Corporation commissioner.

“The army had decided to join the effort to desilt the lake for two consecutive weeks with specialised vehicles,” Lamba said.

“We would offer 14,000 man hours at the site with highly-trained army engineers and machinery,” Lt.Gen. Lamba added.