One of Delhi’s large water bodies, Jahangirpuri, might vanish with the State Government proposing a string of projects, the latest being a water treatment plant and sewage interceptor on the marshland.
If approved by the Delhi High Court, the marshland spread over 285 acres land in North Delhi having grassland habitat will pave way for the concrete structures.
After police and PWD proposed residential complexes a few years back on 60 and 42 acres of land respectively, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) is eyeing the site to set up a 275 MGD water treatment plant at 100 acre area to process raw water to be supplied by the Renuka dam, which is being constructed in Himachal Pradesh.
Sources told PTI that the DJB is likely to submit the affidavit in the Court seeking its permission to utilise around 20 to 40 acres of land for constructing a sewage interceptor at the site.
Based on environmentalist V. K. Jain’s petition, the Court, a few months back, had stayed Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta’s recent order declaring it as a banjar kadim (not fit for agriculture) and that it can be utilised for infrastructure.
The Court has now asked the DJB and the government to file report on the status of the marshland by December 16.
“The government wants to kill the Jahangirpuri marshland despite the fact that it has been shown as a waterbody in zonal plan in Delhi Masterplan 2021.
“Moreover, a report by Deputy Commissioner (revenue) in 2006 states that the site is filled with water with elephant grass. Satellite imagery too show that it is filled with water,” Mr. Jain said. In 2002, INTACH, a top heritage conservation body, too had proposed development of rainwater harvesting system at 78 hectares to recharge the groundwater.
However, all set to go ahead with its plans, the DJB has already issued tenders for setting up interceptor which is part of the government’s Rs 2,400-crore Yamuna cleanliness programme.
“As no land was available near Yamuna, Jahangirpuri marshes site has been selected for the water treatment plant,” a senior official said.