Imagine sitting by the blue waters of a lake in East Delhi, surrounded by manicured gardens, listening to live music and sampling a range of cuisines. With its redevelopment of Shahdara Lake, the East Delhi Municipal Corporation is hoping to create just that — an ecological and recreational hub at a spot that resembles a garbage dump today.
Over the weekend, the EDMC officially started its long-overdue project to revive the 14-acre lake and its surroundings. Once complete, the area will have playgrounds for children, lawns to host parties, an amphitheatre for live shows, a food court and a meditation garden. It will even have a walkway for those coming from the nearby Welcome metro station.
The area is currently being used by locals to throw garbage and includes many encroachments. Central to the plan is a water body with its own ecosystem and a natural waste-water treatment plant based on Phytorid technology, which uses plants for absorption.
According to area councillor Harsh Deep Malhotra, the first phase of the project will take nine months and cost Rs.22 lakh. He added that the development of the gardens and recreational areas will only start after the water treatment is completed in the first phase.
A senior EDMC official said the project was first proposed in 2012. The National Environmental Engineering Research Institute was roped in to draw up the plans.
The Delhi Government through its Trans-Yamuna Development Board had cleared a budget of Rs.22 crore for the project.
“This project is ultimately on the move after facing a lot of hindrances. It is dream come true for us,” said EDMC Mayor Meenakshi.
While the water treatment work has been started by NEERI, it remains to be seen when the cash-strapped EDMC gets the remaining funds for its ambitious project.