The record-breaking rainfall in the city may have left its streets water-logged and the River Yamuna swelling, but the Sanjay Jheel in Mayur Vihar has been left untouched by it.
More than half of the artificial lake, which dried up a couple of years back, has not been replenished by the plentiful rainfall that Delhi received in August and September this year.
“On one hand, the Yamuna is in spate and on the other a major part of the lake is lying dry. Till a few years back, clear water used to flow in the entire two kilometre stretch of the lake,” said YP Singh, who takes a walk in the Sanjay Jheel Park every morning.
The Sanjay Jheel Park, which is barely two kilometres from the Commonwealth Games Village, is a popular jogging and morning walk spot among the residents of Mayur Vihar and nearby areas.
According to experts, the replenishment has not happened as there is no well developed catchment area (a drainage basin) to feed the lake.
“For an artificial lake to survive, an artificially created and well planned catchment area is mandatory. In this case, it is missing and that’s why the rains have failed to replenish the lake,” said Jyoti Sharma, president, Forum for Organised Resource Conservation and Enhancement (FORCE), a Delhi-based NGO working on water related issues.
“We were expecting that the area would be developed before the Games owing to its proximity to the Games Village but that has not happened,” said Rajesh Sehgal, vice-president, Federation of Residents Welfare Associations, Mayur Vihar, Phase II.
Delhi Development Authority (DDA) spokesperson Neemo Dhar said, “The chief engineer has informed us that the lake has not dried up.”
But a part of the park has been developed by the Delhi Tourism Development Corporation , even which looks shabby. “We agree that the area requires some redevelopment. According to the feedback from residents, the requirement is of walkways, promenade and beautification,” said Reena Ray, managing director, DTDC.
The rest of the park is ragged. The walkways have become narrow due to encroaching grass; the lake has dried up and is now serving as a road.