Background of NLCP
Lakes are an important feature of the Earth’s landscape. They are extremely valuable ecosystems and provide a range of goods and services to humankind. They are not only a significant source of precious water, but extend valuable habitats to plants and animals, moderate the hydrological extreme events (drought and floods), influence microclimate, enhance the aesthetic beauty of the landscape and offer many recreational opportunities Many of our rivers arise from the lakes at higher altitudes in the Himalayan ranges. There are many natural lakes, even in the drier regions of India. Lakes have a very special significance in India.
Rapid urbanization around many lakes, together with degradation of their catchments due to various anthropogenic pressures, has resulted in their gradual deterioration. Eutrophication and the decline in water quality, siltation and consequent shallowing and shrinking of lakes, loss of biodiversity are some of major problems that impact the wide range of goods and services that these lakes offer. Recognizing the importance of urban lakes in particular, the Ministry of Environment and Forests launched a National Lake Conservation Program in 2001, exclusively aimed at restoring the lakes in different parts of the country. The scheme operates on a funding paterrn of 70:30 cost sharing between the Central and the participating State Governments.