Taking a U-turn, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has decided not to hand over the Naini Lake in Model Town to the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC), which was planning on reviving the water body.
In April, then-Mayor Ravinder Gupta had agreed to allot the lake to the DTTDC to carry out activities, including boat rides, on a licence fee basis. Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra had presented the proposal for making the lake a tourist attraction. After meeting Mr. Gupta on April 1, Mr. Mishra had announced that the Delhi government, via DTTDC, would be reviving the lake and the area around it.
But, the proposal to allot the lake had been pending with the Standing Committee of the NDMC. On Wednesday, the panel decided to refer the case back to consider the possibility of maintaining the lake itself.
“We have been undergoing a financial crisis. If we can outsource the work and generate revenue for ourselves, why should we give it to the DTTDC? We will not be giving the lake to the government,” said Leader of the House Vijay Prakash Pandey.
The lake had become neglected over the past few years, with residents finding dead fish floating in the water body. The residents had organised a campaign to save the lake through a social media initiative.
Mr. Mishra told The Hindu that though the NDMC’s move was a setback, the government’s aim was to “revive the lake”, both as a tourist spot and as a biodiversity hub.