The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) has failed to revive the city’s water bodies and recharge the groundwater table.
Last year, HT had highlighted the sorry state of the water bodies in the city and how highrises had eaten into Gurgaon’s lakes. The MCG had immediately rolled out an aggressive plan to rejuvenate 12 lakes and ponds across the city before the onset of monsoon. But nothing has been done so far.
There are about 120 water bodies in Gurgaon. Of these, the MCG decided to revive 12 on the basis of feasibility, catchment area and practicality within a span of six months. The 12 water bodies that were supposed to be revived include Sukhrali, Ghata, Badshahpur, Jharsa, Begumpur Khatola, Garauli Kalan, Basai, Sarai Alawardi, Jahazgarh, Kadipur, Sarhol and Dhanwapur.
On revisiting Shukrali, Jharsha and Sector 45 waterbodies, it was found that the catchment areas are not maintained and no restoration work has started even after almost a year. The catchment area it still encroached upon and waste is dumped in the area on a regular basis. Waste dumping has reduced most water bodies to just small patches.
The current construction around Jharsha bundh only encourages encroachment as a large part of the land has been left out of the boundary wall of the bundh, which makes the area vulnerable. Ramesh Vashist, president of the Jharsa Bandh Prabandhan committee, said, “For the past six months, we have complained to the MCG several times but nothing has been done so far.”
Similarly, Sukhrali pond is on the verge of extinction. Dumping of waste on the catchment area is a regular affair. Animals, including pigs, cows and dogs, can be seen near the water body.
The plan to revive water bodies came at a time when the CGWA reported that Gurgaon is one of the 162 areas that have been notified across the country for the regulation of groundwater development.
The district was notified as an over exploited zone in 2008 after a steep decline in the level of groundwater.
The groundwater extraction of the area is more than 312% and the groundwater table in Gurgaon has been depleting at an alarming rate — 14.16 metres between 2005 and 2014. Reviving waterbodies can improve the situation.
Deputy commissioner and MCG chief TL Satyaprakash said, “We have a plan to revive ponds very soon. Currently we have revived Basai and we will be working on more ponds. They will be revived gradually.”
However, when HT enquired about the present status of these water bodies, an official of the MCG said that it is difficult to revive these water bodies because of large scale encroachment by street vendors and construction like extension of shops.