Faced with continuous decrease in Delhi's ground water levels, the water utility authorities have suggested use of recycled sewage water for city's parks and lawns maintained by various agencies.
Delhi has more than 16,000 parks — big and small — maintained by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD), New Delhi Municipal Council and Delhi Development Authority, besides the lawns around all major heritage monuments under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).Most of these lawns and gardens are fed by ground water, making it imperative for Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to work out ideas such as recycling of sewage water using the sewage treatment plants.
“We have asked the ASI to start recycling sewage water. In Bangalore, the garden around Vidhan Soudha (the state assembly building) is maintained with treated sewage water. Even the Rashtrapati Bhavan uses recycled water. If they can do it, why not others?” said Ramesh Negi, DJB CEO.
Said a senior ASI official: “We experimented with it at Safdarjung's Tomb. The recycled water stinks and (hence) we don't think it is feasible for places, which attract lots of tourists. The matter is still under discussion.”
Negi, however, countered, “Today we have technology that completely de-odourises water.” MCD's director (horticulture) SS Kandpal said, “We have started with rainwater harvesting at the Roshan Ara Park in north Delhi. (However), recycling of sewage water for parks is only theoretical, nothing has been finalised.”
The DJB banned ground water abstraction in Delhi for private individuals and commercial usage since 2009.
The ground water levels have gone down to 9m over 10 years in several areas. This prompted DJB CEO to write to environment department to notify mandatory use of recycled sewage water for green areas.