Committee formed for rejuvenating other water bodies

A water body in Dwarka, which was revived by the efforts of some local residents but left to dry up again after the Delhi Development Authority reduced it in size by closing down the channels carrying rainwater to it, will now be revived again.

On Friday, Lieutenant-Governor Tejendra Khanna issued orders to the DDA to expedite work of revival of the water body known as Naya Johad and announced the setting up of a committee for rejuvenating Dwarka’s other water bodies. The L-G, who is also chairperson of the DDA, has asked for a status report and work to be carried out before the monsoon arrives.

A group of local residents from Sectors 22 and 23 of Dwarka and Pochanpur village led by the non-government organisation Natural Heritage First had petitioned the L-G to order the DDA to undertake the work of the water body revival.

“During our meeting with the L-G, we explained how rejuvenation of these water bodies can solve water woes of Dwarka. On the basis of a conservative analysis by experts like Prof. Vikram Soni and Dr. Shashank Shekhar, we have been able to deduce that 2 million gallons a day of water can be additionally generated for Dwarka by reviving the water bodies,” said Diwan Singh of the NGO.

The L-G has now asked S.R. Solanki, Chief Engineer of DDA’s Dwarka Zone, to convene meetings of the committee every Friday and discuss the progress made and take necessary steps on the recommendation of the committee. The progress of work and minutes of the committee meeting will be sent to the L-G and the members every week and the L-G himself will interact with the committee once every month.

“The L-G has also asked for linking the storm water drains to the water bodies, cleaning them and desilting ponds. He has also ordered preservation of the area around the water body as woodlands (forest) and for the area to be treated as a part of the water body and kept segregated from other uses by a suitable boundary of wire mesh or any other suitable means. No park or any other invasive land use will be permitted on the woodland,” said Mr. Singh.

Mr. Khanna has also set a time frame of one month for carrying out the restoration work of all water bodies.

“The L-G also discussed the concerns of the residents about playfields; removal of concrete footpaths inside parks and planting of native species of trees that can survive in Delhi’s semi arid environment,” said Mr. Singh.

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