According to a study, the Yamuna flood plains are capable of providing as much as 250 million gallons of water per day (MGD) for the ever-parched Delhi. The city will need 1,380 MGD by 2021.
The study is being conducted by WAPCOS Ltd— a consultancy firm—for the DJB. It says that if the government fails to check the blatant encroachment on the 97 sq kms of the river’s flood plains in the Capital, it would be equivalent to a economic loss of R50 crore per sq kms annually.
The study is about sustainable water withdrawal from the extended flood plain sand aquifer that runs along the river about 2km wide and nearly 40meters deep.The proper utilisation of the flood plain can be a solution to providing about a quarter of Delhi’s water supply.
However, the banning of further urbanisation on the river bed by the Lt Governor in 2008 did not help much.
Vikram Soni, professor from Jamia Milia University and an advisor to the DJB, said it would cause a permanent loss to take out any flood plains which can yield R3,000 crore per year,” Soni told a seminar on ‘Optimal yield from Yamuna floodplains’.
Diwan Singh, an environmental activist associated with the WAPCOS project, said “Government agencies such as the Delhi Metro too have been building upon the flood plains.”
Vis-à-vis Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) plans for riverfront redevelopment, Ramesh Negi, DJB CEO said, “The DDA has maintained they would not construct any ‘permanent structures’ over the flood plains.”
The WAPCOS study would be completed by next year.