DDA plan on Dwarka water bodies sought
DDA would have to submit a detailed plan with a time frame for revival of each water body in Dwarka
May 25, 2013
Source : The Times of India


DELHI: The Delhi Parks and Gardens Society CEO has summoned officials from DDA on June 4 to ask about their plans for reviving and maintaining water bodies in Dwarka. The meeting has been called in response to a story published by TOI on May 22 which highlighted how the land-owning agency was undoing work put in by residents to revive a water body in Sector 23.

"I was informed that the residents didn't receive a favourable response from DDA even after they met the official concerned. Having seen what is being done to this water body by the DDA, I have asked them to prepare an integrated plan on water management for Dwarka. If officials fail to act on this, a complaint against them can be made in the court for violation of its orders," said S D Singh, CEO of the society and nodal officer for work on revival of water bodies in Delhi.

He added that DDA would have to submit a detailed plan with a time frame for revival of each water body in Dwarka. "The fact that the court has not set any deadline for the work has made the land-owning agencies lax. I have asked DDA to give a break-up of each phase under which they will carry out work."

Dwarka is a parched area and groundwater recharge is possibly the only way to make the area self-sufficient. Diwan Singh from Natural Heritage First, who was part of the team that worked on the revival of the over 200-year-old water body in Dwarka said, "All water bodies should be preserved and revived as they offer an excellent platform to recharge ground water. This is especially true for area like Dwarka where there is barely any civic supply. Earlier, DDA was receptive to our proposal for involvement of residents in the pond revival exercise but for some reason, they back tracked and insisted on carrying out beautification work that has more or less killed the water body."

The water body was revived through a community effort in 2012. Before that, the pond was dry for most part of the year or filled with sewage. Its ownership was transferred to DDA in 1984 at which point the water was still quite clear. After 1984, however, its condition deteriorated rapidly due to flow of sewage into it and its area shrunk considerably. This year, DDA decided to desilt the water body and in the process, it managed to put the silt back into the pond, close down rain water carrying channels created by residents and reduce its area.

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