Backflow of water from the flooded Yamuna river, overflowing sewage and incessant rain on Friday morning brought a sense of déjà vu for Delhi zoo officials.
Several areas in the zoo were inundated, with Cheetal enclosure being the worst affected. Last year, more than two-dozen black bucks had died after consuming sewage water, which had flooded the enclosures after a similar bout of heavy rain.
On Friday morning, the sprawling National Zoological Park looked like a deserted island with trees and shrubs sprouting here and there. Most of the moats around animal enclosures were overflowing with mucky water.Earlier in May, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) had earned the wrath of the Delhi High Court, which had taken suo moto cognizance of an HT report on non-construction of a drain to resolve the problem.
The black bucks enclosure was shifted to a safer location.
However, despite HC directives, the situation has not changed much. Storm water from Sunder Nagari flowed into the zoo premises and clubbed with the heavy downpour, formed puddles of water all along the green areas. Zoo authorities pumped out water towards a culvert leading to the open storm water drain on the east side.
MCD has only partially completed the drainage system being constructed inside the zoo while it has completed a considerable portion of the drain outside leading towards the Yamuna river (channel 15).
However, the main cause of worry is the back flowing sewage water from DJB’s deep sewer trunks, running parallel to the zoo boundary on east.
“We have been holding meetings every week and DJB officials always promise that there will be no problem,” said AK Agnihotri, zoo director.
“This is normal. Deep sewer trunks will have some backflow during heavy rains,” said Ramesh Negi, CEO , DJB. “Water lifting to our Okhla sewage treatment plant was affected as one of our pumping stations was not working. But it was taken care of,” another DJB official said.