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IIT-B takes up challenge to rejuvenate Powai lake

Posted on: July 3, 2012

Source: Indian Express

While the city administration has repeatedly failed in its efforts to clean and revive Powai lake, students and faculty of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay, have now decided to rejuvenate the lake , which has often been termed integral to the institute’s campus life.

Accordingly, a grand challenge will soon be launched for students of IIT-Bombay to rejuvenate the Powai lake .

The project will be funded by the institute and mentoring will be provided by faculty from different departments.

“The project has been taken up because the Powai lake has always been an integral part of every campus residents stay. As a technological institute, IIT-Bombay wants to rejuvenate it and provide this opportunity to students for a good learning experience. There will be some focus areas, which includes the development and implementation of appropriate technologies for removing weed as well as for dissolving as much oxygen in the lake water from atmospheric aeration,” said Ishan Shrivastava, IIT-Bombay student and project coordinator.

The coffee table book of the institute titled “Monastery Sanctuary, Laboratory: 50 years of IIT Bombay”, calls the lake the campus’s proud frontierpiece” and its “signature”.

“The lake has been enjoyed by residents and visitors alike, for the institutes guest house commands a panoramic view of its waterspread. And until the early 1980s, it used to be a glorious sight; not a single weed, old residents remember, marred its margins. For many years through the ‘70s, its banks played host to a thriving boat club whose patrons honed their padding skills in its water, until the time the lake’s bed was caked over with silt, its shoreline overrun by weeds,” says the author and faculty at IIT Bombay, Rohit Manchanda, in the book.

Currently, a large portion of the lake is covered with weeds and water hyacinth and much of the water body, close to the campus, has dried up.

“The lake has gone through several stages of water quality disintegration. A large portion of the lake at the boundary of IIT-Bombay’s campus is dry and covered with hard silt. We have thus decided to revive the lake. Students will see what kind of technologies can be developed in-house to clean the lake ,” said Siddharth Maheshwari, student of IIT Bombay and also the Project Coordinator.

Students from all departments will be invited to participate in the challenge. “The project is currently not restricted to any specific technology and students will get complete freedom to brainstorm for innovative ideas,” said Shrivastava.

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