On Sunday, villagers from Pochanpur and the residents of neighbouring Dwarka Sector 23 joined hands to de-silt a water body in their area — an initiative undertaken for the first time after early 1980s.
When the ‘state’ took over the ownership of the water bodies from the community, the annual ritual of desilting them took a step back. Over the years, as happened with most other water bodies, the one at Pochanpur — near the District Park in Dwarka Sector 23 — too was deteriorating.
During early April and first week of May, the villagers and residents had requested the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to undertake remedial measure for the almost dried-up water body. Later, about 100-odd residents wrote a letter to the authority officials, asking them to prepare a catchment area management plan.
“The catchment area around the water body is good and also has a park. This can be a good example of reviving a water body with a proper plan,” the letter said.
However, on Sunday evening, more than 150 people — including schoolchildren, youth, women and the elderly — from Pochanpur and Dwarka joined hands for the initiative which they called shramdaan (voluntary work).
Environmentalist Prof Vikram Soni said, “We should focus on implementing rain water harvesting plans for developing water bodies. Unfortunately, this is not happening at any of the water bodies despite court orders.”
Enthusiastic after the work, Ciily Kodian from Association of Neighbourhood Ladies Get Together (ANHLGT) declared that her group will now work on developing other water bodies in Dwarka in a similar way.
Dwarka sector 23 resident Diwan Singh praised the youth of Pochanpur for their active participation in the “community work for their own water body”.
Pochanpur village Pradhan Sultan Singh said, “The village will from now on meet every fortnight to maintain this water body.”