Vasant Kunj residents have expressed concern over the Delhi government’s flyover project at Neela Hauz on Asaf Ali Road as the contractor building the flyover is filling up the Neela Hauz Lake, an ancient water body, with mud and debris.
Indiscriminate dumping of debris around the lake and the adjoining forest area is slowly reducing the surface area of the lake, said the residents, who have formed the Citizen's Group for Protection of Neela Hauz to ensure that the lake is preserved.
“We are not against developmental activities, but it should not damage the environment,” said S.B. Lal, a member of the group. He said keeping in view the abysmally low groundwater level in the Vasant Kunj area, preserving water bodies has become a necessity. The group recently had a meeting with officials of the PWD, which has taken up the project.
“Though the officials have assured us that the lake would be restored to its original condition, they have not shared any document with us. The officials have also refused to own up the responsibility for the debris being dumped around the lake,” said Jyoti Sharma, another member of the group. She added, “We just want to ensure that the lake and the forest area are restored by the time the construction is over.”
A senior PWD official said the mud would be dug out once the construction was complete. “It is a part of the contract that the contractor will restore the lake and the forest area. The responsibility to further beautify the lake is with the agency responsible for the development and maintenance of lakes,” he said.
The 600-metre-long and six-lane flyover, being constructed over the lake, on Aruna Asaf Ali Marg will provide a hassle-free way to Vasant Kunj-bound traffic coming from the Qutub Institutional Area, and vice area. Motorists now have to take a two-lane road around the lake to reach the other side. Already running behind schedule, the new deadline fixed for the completion of the project is September, 2009.