Filmed by Kartikeya Saxena
One of the most popular tourist destinations in the subcontinent, Udaipur is burdened by the ever-increasing number of hotels around the area. This has led to several confrontations between the locals and the hotel industry at large.
For instance, Lake Udai Sagar, located just off the municipal jurisdiction of Udaipur, has been the site of a long-fought legal battle between the Jheel Sanrakshan Samiti (JSS) and the Mumbai based developer group, Vardhan Enterprises over the construction of a 5-star hotel on an island situated in the middle of the lake. As the hotel nears completion, the Urban Improvement Trust (UIT) and the state government have been accused of extending support to the developer by converting the agricultural land to a commercial one. And this is just one example. Hundreds of hotels and restaurants have come up around the city’s most popular tourist attraction, Lake Pichola as well. Water usage, waste disposal and sewage treatment methods of these businesses remain a concern for the local citizenry.
As the tourism tag around Udaipur continues to grow, the question about how the city can manage these numbers and maintain its water resources is becoming more and more poignant.
This is Part I of the documentary series — Jheel Ke Kinaare: Crisis in the City of Lakes.