A tussle between the municipal corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) and forest department ensured that 250 rainwater harvesting pits could not be built in and around Ghata village this season, which may well have mitigated the havoc caused by rain over the last two days.
The forest department claimed that the MCG’s plan to build these structures came too late and could be not completed before the monsoon. The failure to build these pits ensured water flowed unabated from Ghata to Badshahpur.
The area used to have a large water body called the Ghata lake, which in the process of urbanization got destroyed. However, the water from Ghata hill still takes the same route to enter the city and ends up flooding Golf Course Road.
To avoid the situation, the civic bodies planned to create 250 rainwater harvesting pits. However, things didn’t go as planned and the natural creek from Ghata hills does not have any space to flow, nor is there a proper connection from the creek to a drain.
Ghata lake, a seasonal water body in Sector 58, was documented in the Gazette of India (1883). The natural lake and the bund used to have enough water till five years ago and was over 50 foot deep.
The water harvesting structures was to hold the runoff from the Aravallis. The runoff water usually leads to waterlogging in areas adjacent to Ghata such as Wazirabad, Silani, Haiderpur Viran, Chakkarpur and Nathupur.
However, the forest department objected to the proposal as MCG failed to do groundtruthing and provide an estimate for the project.
“The project was unrealistic. Two hundred and fifty structures cannot be constructed without conducting any groundtruthing. Hence, it is not possible to comment on the same or ascertain practicality of the scheme,” MD Sinha, conservator of forest, Gurgaon, said.
“The only solution is to increase water holding capacity of the city. Though the civic administration plans to create artificial drains, but water always has a natural way of finding its route. Also, water always takes the least restricted path and, in this city, it is the roads. Previously, behind Ghata there used to be 100-200 hectares where water used to collect. Unfortunately, those areas are now urbanised,” said Chetan Agarwal, environmentalist.