NEW DELHI: The 1,000-odd water bodies of Delhi, including village ponds, marshes, lakes and step wells, may finally get a fresh lease of life.
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal constituted a high-level committee to look into matters related to water bodies on the National Green Tribunal’s orders.
The NGT order came on a petition expressing concern over the depletion of the water table in Delhi.
Chief executive officer of Delhi Parks and Garden Society, SD Singh, told Hindustan Times that over 900 parks had been identified.
“Out of these, more than 300 have water while 400-odd have gone dry. Over 100 have become parks. We have asked authorities concerned to clean them up and, more importantly, maintain them well,” Singh said.
The government-appointed committee will be headed by PWD minister Satyendar Jain. Water minister Kapil Mishra, environment and forests minister Imran Hussain and Delhi Jal Board CEO Keshav Chandra will be part of the committee.
The Delhi government, Delhi Jal Board and the Central Ground Water Authority were to submit a compliance report to the tribunal on or before August 9.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar issued notices to the ministry of environment and forests, ministry of urban development, Delhi government, the Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA), Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and others while seeking their reply within two weeks.
The committee will look into the matters such as site inspection, proper identification/confirmation of water bodies for updated inventory, suggesting suitable recommendations to restore them, rain water harvesting and a beautification plan.
“It is estimated that on an average, New Delhi receives 611 mm of rainfall on a yearly basis. Therefore, even if 50 per cent of this rainwater is harvested, this may help in easing the burden on regular water supply to some extent...
“It may also help in recharging the depleting water table which is decreasing at an alarming rate due to large scale extraction of ground water, which needs to be compensated through cost-effective and substantially effective implementation of rainwater harvesting techniques,” the plea said.