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Intervention in Lasudiya Mori Lake

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

Lasudiya Mori Lake Today...


The lake is located along the village Lasudiya Mori, 10-12 Km from the city centre of Indore near Dewas Naka. It has a tadpole shape with a well defined embankment. Inlet of storm water is from SW and West. Sewage flows perennially into the lake from the NW. Due to gradual encroachment, the submergence area of the lake has reduced from 8 hectare to 2.85 hectares in the span of 20-25 years.


Location Dewas Naka, AB Road, Indore
Latitude 22°47’1.31” N
Longitude 75°54’38.26” E
Administration Gram Panchayat
Area 2.83 ha (4.86 ha as per GP records)
Depth 4.5 m


Sewage inflow into the lake has led to high contamination and pollution of the lake water and limited use of the lake by the community.

Fishing is a major livelihood activity taking place in the lake. It is done by Saraswati Self Help Group, a group of 11 households from the tribal community. To maintain the fish production, they remove lake weeds like Jalkumbi and pour around 10 quintal of lime per month in lake water to neutralize sewage and pollution.

The growing population around Lasudiya Mori Lake has put a strain on the lake ecosystem. Not only does this lake provide traditional functions of groundwater recharge and supporting biodiversity, it also supports the community through fishing and other recreational activities. The lake also holds religious significance; the presence of a temple on its bank is its testimony.


Changes Over Time...


Up until a decade ago, the lake was seasonal. It had a well-defined outflow system in NE known as ‘MORI’. It was used for domestic purposes by Lasudiya Mori villagers. The lake has become perennial over a period of time due to sewage inflow from the surrounding settlements.

In the following figure, it can be seen that over a period of time the shape of the lake has changed due to encroachment and increased sewage inflow.

Settlements around the lake

No. of HH in catchment 390
Water supply arrangement Groundwater
Average groundwater extraction in catchment 156m3/day
Grey water discharge into lake 69.93m3/day
Catchment Area 57.62 ha
Slope 0.5% W to E
Paved area 45%


Gram Panchayat has made effective efforts to increase the inflow by diversion of storm water from catchment area cut off by road from the south and south west area of the lake. Also de-silting was done to increase water holding capacity of lake in 2000-2001. Repair of the embankment was done in 2012.


The catchment of the lake consists of approximately 390 households living in 185 houses, and around 95 commercial and service units. The Nayi Basti comprises of lower-middle and village has middle to upper middle socio-economic class. Nearly 75% of the catchment area has commercial developments whereas the rest are residential. Water logging can be seen in the catchment behind the Nayi Basti and in the commercial area which lasts for approximately 2 months after the monsoon. Some roads in the Nayi Basti also remain water logged as there is no storm water line in the area.


House Details

Around 45% households of the catchment have RCC roofs. The rest use tin sheets and are likely to belong to poor socio economic groups.

Water Supply

The settlements in the catchment are entirely groundwater dependent. There are 4 community bore wells and 10 private bore wells in the Nayi Basti settlements. Around 67% households get piped supply of bore well water from Gram Panchayat. 8% use government bore well.

Toilet Arrangements

Only 90% of sample households had access to toilets. There is no community toilet in the settlement. Therefore, 10% households practice open defecation.

Grey water disposal arrangements

82% of grey water flows into open nalis eventually leading to the lake. 8% households have no grey water arrangements and discharge their water onto the road. 10% households use soak pits to discharge both grey and black water. Few households have pipes to directly discharge their water into the lake.

Solid waste arrangements

40% households have door to door collection facility provided by the Panchayat, whereas 10% use govt. bin to dispose of solid waste. The rest 50% households dump their waste in open spaces.



Flora around the lake

The main species found in the lake were:


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

Alternanthera bettzichiana (Regel) Nicols.

Parthenium hysterophorous L. Common name: Gajar Ghaas


Identified Issues



Sewage inflow into the lake is leading to water contamination

Expansion of New Basti has led to encroachment around lake inlet

Solid waste dumping into lake

Overgrowth of weeds due to eutrophic conditions leading to reduction in fish production







Priorities for conservation


Lasudiya Mori Lake, although located at the edge of the IMC boundary, will soon become an urban lake. The settlement is entirely groundwater dependant and the population will only grow over time. To meet the growing water demand of the area, it is important to focus on decentralised water systems.

If conserved, the lake could act as a potential source of water for low end uses and also act as a flood buffer in case of heavy rains.



Our Approach

Possible Interventions

• Catchment and nala-treatment of the sewage inlets to improve quality of water flowing into the lake.
• Advocacy with Gram Panchayat/IMC to initiate solid waste collection surrounding the lake especially along the inlet nalas.
• In-situ bioremediation treatment of the lake water.
• Strengthening of Saraswati Self- Help Group for maintaining and conserving the lake.
• Proper demarcation of Lake Boundary to arrest further encroachment with fencing.
• Creating recreational options to improve aesthetic value of the lake in campus of temple.



Artificial Floating Islands

The village still has a rural culture and the community is connected to their water resource. Fishing is done in the lake. Therefore, any intervention in Lasudiya Mori requires awareness and interest of the community to ensure ownership and success of the same. Also, since the fishermen are dependent on the lake for their livelihood, it is important that they understand the benefits of the intervention and their concerns are addressed.

In order to ensure community interest, involvement, ownership and support, a Lake Conservation Committee has been formed in Lasudiya Mori consisting of local residents and fishermen. They have been involved and informed about all project related activities. 

Since there is no single inlet for sewage entry to this lake, treating at source (inlet) was not easy and would require diversion of sewage from all points to a single point. Therefore, implementing a technology to treat the water in the lake itself was advisable.

TARU has demonstrated Artificial Floating Islands (AFIs) in the lake to improve the water quality. AFIs reduce the nutrient level in lakes as plants absorb the nutrients for growth.

A basic AFI is a floating structure on which vegetation can grow. It can perform various functions including water purification, providing habitats for birds and increasing aesthetic value of the area. In order to improve upon the basic AFI, TARU has prepared a 2-Generation as well as 3-Generation AFI. These are the first of their kind in India. 

The 2-G AFI contains a floating base made from plastic drums, a bamboo frame and an aeration system. Aeration is done directly with the water to improve the dissolved oxygen (DO) levels in the water. Plants have been planted on a base of soil and coco peat. Apart from improving the lake DO levels, aeration allows plant roots to breathe which ensures that apart from water plants, land plants can also survive in the lake.

The 3-G contains an aeration system, along with allowing water to pass through Moving Bed Biofilm Reactor (MBBR) media. This ensures that not only is the DO level increased, but also the Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) as well as the Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) is reduced.

Both the AFIs are powered by solar panels and the aeration systems managed through digital timers that control when they function. 

AFIs create a mini ecosystem by utilizing the water surface instead of shoreline space. They improve the water quality naturally without the addition of any chemicals. They provide a habitat where fish species can collect to avoid harsh sun, and birds can sit on.

This technology is easy to implement and avoids use of land for water treatment. AFIs can be built using empty plastic bottles, plastic drums, oil cans and other reusable material. This unique technology can be used for the treatment of several small urban water bodies.