The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) on Friday admitted before the National Green Tribunal that 42 of its 105 elevated stations do not have rainwater harvesting facility. None of the six stations in Noida can store rainwater. Of the seven maintenance depots, only the one at Sarita Vihar has this facility.
The tribunal was hearing a petition that has accused the DMRC of not ensuring rainwater harvesting at many Metro stations in Delhi-NCR, wasting 8 crore litres of precious water every monsoon.
The DMRC said many of the stations were located on congested roads, so it was difficult to build underground tanks. Petitioner’s lawyer Rahul Choudhary said, “It’s a lame excuse. DMRC can build stations’ building on same roads but not tanks while both had to be done together.”
The DMRC also said since two of its depots — Shastri Park and Yamuna Bank — and some stations such as Akshardham were located quite close to the Yamuna, where the groundwater level is not too deep, rainwater harvesting was not feasible. At the two depots, water storage was not required as rainwater directly goes into the riverbed, it said.
The DMRC said it was in the process of installing rainwater storage system at Noida stations, besides Sultanpur, Mundka and Najafgarh depots. The matter will be heard next on August 2.
Environmentalist and petitioner Vikrant Kumar Tongad said, “Using the yardsticks of Delhi Jal Board, it’s clear that more than 8 crore litres of water is being wasted every monsoon. Delhi and NCR is going through a massive water crisis because of depletion of water table. We cannot afford such a waste.”
“The Centre has issued directions for rainwater harvesting and the states have also issued notifications in this regard. But the DMRC has not installed systems at most stations. At many places, the system is not in proper working condition,” he said.
Submitting details obtained from Delhi Jal Board, the petitioner has said the average rooftop area of one station is approximately 1,000 sqm. There are about 100 stations where roof top water harvesting facility can be installed. If this is done 1.96 crore litres of water can be saved per year. If elevated tracks are also included for rainwater harvesting DMRC can save another 6.37crore litres of water per year.