The forest department constituted a team to conduct a field study at Ghata village to construct check dams and earthen dams along the lake. Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar ordered the construction of the embankments during his visit to Gurgaon on Monday.
The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) had proposed the Ghata lake projet (when) in April and sought the help of the Haryana Space Applications Centre (HARSAC) to conduct a survey. The HARSAC conducted satellite mapping of the area and proposed 250 sites for construction of check dams.
However, in July, Haryana chief secretary said the forest department should go ahead with the project as the land belongs to the department.
Conservator of forest, south circle, Haryana, MD Sinha, said all the proposed 250 sites will be monitored and measured to make an accurate estimate for the project. “Keeping in mind the chief minister’s order to protect the area to improve the situation in the city during floods, we will take 15 days to complete the survey,” Sinha said.
The Ghata lake, a seasonal water body, was documented in the Gazette of India (1883). The natural lake and the bund used to have enough water until five years earlier, when it was more than 50-foot deep.
The check dams will be constructed in six months and the forest department is also planning to make five to six earthen dams in the area if the survey results are positive.
The proposed structures are to hold the run off from the Aravalli hills. The run-off water usually leads to waterlogging in Ghata, Wazirabad, Silani, Haiderpur Viran, Chakkarpur and Nathupur.
This area comes under the Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA), 1900. “We are going visit all areas that the HARSAC mentioned before we start work next month. Even if these dams are made in the area, still 80% of water will flow down the hill. We need to trap the water at the foothills. We will need at least four months to treat the Ghata micro watershed. Honouring the chief minister’s motive to protect the area, we are expediting the project. We have to check how many check dams can be created and the feasibility of the project,” Sinha said.
The team of forest department equipped with GPS devices will survey each location. It will also measure the velocity of the water the dams can hold.
Gurgaon had 117 ponds in 2000, but only six of these are traceable now. If such a situation prevails, the area might end up becoming a desert in a few years. A three-hour spell of rain and the turmoil thereafter in the last few days might be ominous.