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Intervention in Khajrana Lake

“Peri-urban Lake restoration/conservation for creating emergency water management options”

About Khajrana

Khajrana is famous for the Khajrana Ganesh Mandir, built in the year 1875, during the reign of Rani Ahilya Bai Holkar. There is a dense settlement in the area and one of the important Masjids is also located here. The lake in Khajrana holds importance for idol immersion and other religious activities for both, Hindus as well as Muslims.

Location Khajrana Square, Ring Road, Indore.
Latitude 22°43’58.04” N
Longitude 75°54’12.58” E
Administration IMC
Area 2.85 ha
Depth 7.5 m



Khajrana Lake is located in the heart of Indore city on the Ring Road near Khajrana Ganesh Temple. The lake is circular in shape and has a clear embankment, inlet and outlet. The inflow is on the NE side and the outflow is on the SW side. The overflow of the lake flows into a drainage chamber on the Ring Road. Sewage flows perennially into the lake.

Sewage is contaminating the lake water and it is not used for any domestic use. It has few encroachments, which have reduced the lake area. The lake is used for religious activities such as idol immersion. Some local weeds growing in the lake are used as fodder by the community. A few varieties of ducks and wild birds can be seen in and around the lake.

IMC realizes the importance of the lake and has developed a plan for further development of Khajrana Lake. This plan is essentially focused on development of the lake and banks only. In 2012, IMC fenced the embankment of the lake to create a walking track. They ensure cleaning of weeds from the lake. It has plans to divert the sewage entering the lake this year, which may reduce the water levels in summers.


Changes Over Time...

Sewage inflow has been increasing over years and water hyacinth is increasingly becoming a menace. The study of Google Earth Imagery from 2000 to the present shows that the water hyacinth area on the lake surface is expanding over years. Also, the population around the lake has increased during this period.

Population 18,408
No. of HH in catchment 3,547
Water supply arrangement Narmada & groundwater
Average groundwater extraction in catchment 223m3/day
Approximate grey water discharge into lake 264 m3/day
Catchment Area 43.18 ha
Slope 1.4 % E to W
Paved area 85%


For the first time in 2014, the entire lake surface became covered with Jalkumbhi, indicating very high nutrient levels of the lake water.


Piped Narmada water is supplied to 3,143 (88%) households of Khajrana Gaon, Gandhi Gram, Mamta colony, Laxmi Bagh, Tanzeem Nagar and Jalla Colony, whereas the rest are groundwater dependent. In the NW edge of the catchment, open sewage flows from east to west. The problem of water logging persists in Mamta Colony, Jalla Colony, Tanzeem Nagar and Khajrana Gaon and lasts for approximately 3 to 4 months during and after the monsoon.


House Details

About 90% of the households live in their own houses. And about 60% of the households have less than 60 sq. m. floor area, indicating that they are poor or lower middle class economic groups.
Nearly two thirds of the houses have RCC roofs. Nearly one third of the households live in cement sheet and tin roof houses. These are likely to belong to poor socio economic groups.

Water Supply

Khajrana catchment has access to piped water network from Narmada water supply system. Nearly 90% of the households have access to Narmada water supply. The lake, as well as other marshy areas recharges the aquifers in this catchment and neighboring areas.
Nearly 90% of the sample households consume less than 70 liters per capita per day of water. This indicates possible water scarcity. The piped water supply is provided for only couple of hours or less per day.

Toilet Arrangements

All the sample households had access to toilets. The sewage from toilets is disposed of through three types of arrangements. Soak pits are most common arrangements in the houses.
Soak pit overflow is commonly disposed in to the Nalas (small streams) in most of the old toilets in the city as well as in the catchment. This arrangement results in stream pollution

Grey water disposal arrangements

The old settlements had channels to dispose grey water. These systems have been upgraded by constructing brick or concrete lined channels. Most of the grey water directly flows in to the lake. About three fourths of the households reported covered/line drainage and rest of the grey water is disposed through unlined channels. Since the soil is black cotton soil, the percolation is quite low and most of the water would flow in to the lake.

Solid waste arrangements

A total of about 0.8 Metric Tonne (MT) of solid waste is generated by 346 sample households. It works out to be about 0.4 kg per capita per day. It includes biodegradable matter, plastics as well as soil. Total catchment level estimate of the solid waste generation is about 4-5 MT. A significant part of the waste is consumed by stray animals and only unrecyclable plastics and woody materials are the fraction that remains to be disposed.
The solid waste arrangements used to be very poor, but over last couple of years, the IMC has improved collection system. Only a part of the solid waste reaches the lake, but the major issue is of dumping of religious waste by the people from neighboring areas.



Identified Issues


Lack of cleanliness around lake and its surroundings

Sewage inflow to lake from catchment

Solid waste dumping near lake


Khajrana Lake covered by overgrowth of weeds like Jalkumbhi

Paved surfaces in catchment leading to increased runoff

Inlet nala of lake with solid waste and food waste







Other issues:

  • 1. Paved main road leading to diversion of storm water inflow into the lake
  • 2. Open defecation along south west embankment
  • 3. Mosquitoes and foul smell


Flora around the lake

The main species found in the lake were:


Alternanthera bettzichiana ( Regel) Nicols.

Parthenium hysterophorus L. Common name: Gajar Ghaas

Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb. Found for the first time in Indore

Eichhornia crassipes (C.Mart.) Solms.-Laub. Common name: Jalkumbi

Rumex dentatus L. ssp. klotzschianus (Meissn.) Reich. f.

Datura inoxia Mill. Indicator of waste land and rubbish heaps


Priorities for conservation

Since Khajrana Lake is located in the centre of the city with a dense catchment, it is important to conserve it before there is a demand to fill the lake. The dense catchment and high requirement of water shows that the lake could potentially be used as a source of water for low end use and recharge groundwater, which is especially relevant.

Since Khajrana is prone to water logging and flooding, the lake is important as it acts as a flood buffer and could control the water logging to some extent.



Our Approach

Possible Interventions

• Advocacy with IMC to initiate solid waste collection in catchment; especially food waste disposed in to the lake and inlet nalas.
• Catchment and nala-treatment of the sewage outlets to improve quality of water flowing into the lake.
• In situ bioremediation treatment of the lake water.
• Recovery of lost catchment through diverting drainage / storm water line into the lake.
• Revival of fishing activities by managing the nutrient status of the lake water.
• Creating recreational options to improve aesthetic value of the lake.