Commissioned

SHILPA GAVANE

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Lakes of Ahmedabad

"Amdavad Na Talav"

 

 

Imagine a city that has more than two hundred lakes; Lakes that are clean and beautiful. A lake who’s water is a life savior to its city’s people, one that is home to migratory birds and other organisms. They are like an oasis in the desert, a place for contemplation, a place to meet and a place to rejuvenate.

 

How many of us have heard about lakes other than Kankaria and Vastrapur in Ahmedabad? There were more than two hundred lakes until a decade ago but now less than fifty are left. What if all the lakes are revived and sensitively cared for? It doesn’t need fences and concrete embankments to conserve a natural resource. All it needs is awareness that these lakes are important and can still be brought back to life. All it needs is the vision, to let people of this city live sustainably and peacefully.

 

This body of work documents the surface and edges of a few of the remaining lakes using abstract representation. Viewers are brought closer to the lake's surface to notice details, thereby bringing awareness of their present state. They are photographed in a beautiful, hopeful and optimistic manner, to make one imagine what the lakes can be if revived.

 

Medium: Digital photographs

 

Malav Talav, #1

Most of Ahmedabad’s lakes, like  Malav Talav are small but important and need to be maintained .Reminding of Claude Monet’s painting , this photograph shows the beauty of this  talav. The lotus leaves have spread throughout the water that is left in the lake, showing which on dry seasons is strewn with garbage at its shores.

 

 

 

 

 

Malav Talav, #2

These buds of lotus seeds and leaves hold a hope, an optimism implying that there is life still thriving in this lake. It is thronged by different varieties of birds which would otherwise not be found in such an urban area. If this can be a relief for birds as well as residents around the lake.

 

 

 

 

 

Malav Talav, #3

Malav Talav holds the possibility of a small but beautiful lake in the heart of the city. People go for evening walks to the park, a strip of green with a pathway and few benches, surrounding the lake. All it needs is a little care and maintenance. Even when water is negligible, evening sun shines and lights the lotus leaves surviving in its shallow water.

 

 

 

 

 

Memnagar Talav, #1

Memnagar Talav, is in a highly dilapidated state. Though there is concrete embankment, water that is discharged into it is untreated, further polluted with sewage flowing from slums next to it. There is an immense possibility of development in this lake because it is easily accessible and in the city center.

 

 

 

 

 

Pancha Talav, #1

Pancha lake is one of the small lakes which were developed a few years back to restore but probably because of low ground water table it does not fill up with water easily. Nevertheless it holds a promise, of a greener future if maintained.

 

 

 

 

 

Gota Talav

Being located on the outskirts, Gota talav is not under pressure and has ample water. But the village Gota located around it is growing fast and will soon threaten the condition of this lake if protective measures are not taken.

 

 

 

 

 

Pancha Talav, #2

Pancha lake is under pressure not just because of real-estate development and long dry spells of summer but also pollution due to polyethenes and other trash thrown into it by people passing along the adjacent road .It needs respect, care and should be kept clean and free of pollution at all times.

 

 

 

 

 

Memnagar Talav, #2

Memnagar lake is not going to get revived until the untreated sewage inflow continues from the nearby slums. The pollution is not only depleting the ground water quality but is also a host for diseases to develop. The lake is in a dire state of maintenance.

 

 

 

 

 

Isanpur Talav

Isanpur lake is being suffocated, encroached upon by the slums. In place of what could have been a beautiful small lake, lies a black mass of polluted water. The authorities don’t seem to bother and neither do the slum-dwellers who can not use its water for any purpose. Similar to the fate of Vejalpur talav, this too will die slowly.

 

 

 

 

 

Chandola Talav #1

Chandola, the largest lake of Ahmedabad, is a hidden treasure. Since the PIL was filed for preserving its water, it has become a resting point for various migratory birds. Imagine if it was maintained, water hyacinth removed, sewage diverted, illegal garbage dumps banned and highway shielded with trees. It holds a possibility of becoming best environmental treasure of Ahmedabad.

 

 

 

 

 

Makarba Talav

The stepped tank of Sarkhej Roza gets filled with water only when there are rains but the undeveloped Makarba tank lying right behind the mosque has water throughout the year and even supports visiting migratory birds. It is fairly clean and because of its inaccessibility, remains pollution free.

 

 

 

 

 

Vastrapur Talav, #1

If Kankaria is soul of this city then Vastrapur lake is its heart. Fishes & turtles flourish here, probably since boating was stopped. While many people are unaware of their existence, some come regularly to feed popcorn to them, a small touching way in which people connect with their lake. Though under pressure, Vastrapur lake is beautiful and stands as good example.

 

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