Water is of great concern to future generations and the government and private companies should come together to rejuvenate the Najafgarh basin, said Union Minister of State for Urban Development Rao Inderjit Singh on Thursday.
He was speaking at a workshop on ‘Transforming the Najafgarh Basin’, which aimed to identify challenges in rehabilitation of the basin and devise strategies to address the crisis. Various stakeholders were in attendance at the meet.
The flooding of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway last year is seen as a fallout of the issues concerning the drain.
Deputy Commissioner (Gurugram) Vinay Pratap Singh said, “It is important to manage water at the local level. Water should be re-used for irrigation, gardening or construction. Public and private partnership is of immense importance; corporates should use their funds to rejuvenate water bodies.”
Environment Secretary (Delhi) Keshav Chandra said urban planning was of utmost importance to avoid sewage being drained into water bodies. The need of the hour, he said, was watershed management. According to him, traditional village ponds should be taken care of. “After cleaning water bodies, it is important to create recreational value,” he added.
The workshop also saw interactive presentations that highlighted the critical urban water scenario of Gurugram. Chaired by former chairman of the Central Water Commission, A.B. Pandya, the presentations identified water-logging and water scarcity as issues that need to be tackled immediately.
The second session was chaired by secretary general of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage, Avinash Tyagi. The session began with Rajat Bhargava from Bombay Natural History Society drawing attention to the unique biodiversity of Najafgarh Jheel. The presentation by Suresh Babu, WWF director (Wet Lands & Rivers), deliberated on means to revive the Najafgarh basin. The workshop also saw the laying of a plan of action for rejuvenating the Najafgarh drain. It was moderated by Manu Bhatnagar from INTACH.