The Jodhpur Jhaal, a colonial reservoir that till half a century ago sustained an extensive irrigation network between Mathura and Agra, came to life on Tuesday as water from the Agra canal flooded the 155-acre dry wasteland.
Farmers had encroached upon the dry lake bed and were cultivating for past many years despite protests and official action.
“It was a tough calling to get the land vacated and then scoop out the surplus earth to restore the capacity of the lake to its original level,” said Rajiv Saxena, who spearheaded the campaign for its revival, said.
“Sustained pressure on the government machinery, plus voluntary action by activists, helped revive the project bordering Farah in Mathura district and touching the outskirts of Fatehpur Sikri,” Saxena said.
Jaladhikar Foundation took up the project a year ago and got the government machinery moving to secure the release of land under illegal possession.
The lake is being fed from both sides by Agra canal water.
“Within hours the whole scenario has changed and foreign winged guests from Bharatpur’s famous bird sanctuary have visited the lake which is connected with Agra’s Keitham Lake that attracts thousands of migratory birds,” Saxena added.
Avadhesh Upadhyaya of the Jaladhikar Foundation said the water body had been renamed as Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhaya Sarovar as it was close to his birthplace in Farah. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).