Why Gurgaon could turn into a living hell and how to save it: CSE report
Rapid urbanisation in Gurgaon threatens its natural resources, says a joint framework document released by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), Municipal Corporation of Gurugram and a city-based NGO Gurgaon First.gurgaon Updated: Jun 02, 2017 11:55 IST
The rapid urbanisation in Gurgaon threatens its natural resources, says a joint framework document - ‘Gurugram: A framework for sustainable development’ - released on Thursday by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), Municipal Corporation of Gurugram, and Gurgaon First, a city-based NGO. The CSE and MCG have also prepared a roadmap to tackle the problems facing the city.
There is a danger that the city’s groundwater could be near extinction, the air is close to becoming unbreathable, and land is under enormous pressure. The city is also producing mountains of solid waste, pollution and sewage. If a solution to these problems is not found soon, Gurgaon could turn into a living hell, warns the study.
The document, released by union minister of state for urban development, Rao Inderjit Singh, raises alarm bells for the developing city and asks the government and civil society to come together and take action in light of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. If remedial measures are not taken soon, Gurgaon will remain mired in the muck that is slowly engulfing the city, the report said.
Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director-research and advocacy, CSE, said, “The guidance framework and action agenda, based on consultations with local stakeholders, is an opportunity to ensure Gurugram grows without compromising its liveability.”
Water, which is crucial for any city to survive, is clearly Gurgaon’s week point and the CSE study says that there is over 300% extraction in many blocks. If the overdependence on groundwater is not curbed, the city could have only bare rocks left.
Air quality in Gurgaon is alarming due to massive rise in vehicles, diesel generators, and construction activities. The city is witnessing steep depletion of trees and forest in Aravallis. “Air quality can be improved by reducing dependence on diesel, and implementing NGT norms,” said Vibhor Jain, CEO, panellist.
The sewage generated daily would be 533 million litres by 2021 but the capacity to treat it is only 255 million litres, says the report. The study also questions the quality of treatment, and that recycled water is not used. It warns that if treated water is drained out of the city and not recycled, then Gurgaon will soon drown in its own sewage.
The crisis of urban mobilityin Gurgaon can be gauged by the fact that while car registration increased by 352% between 2008 and 2015, the bus registration is down by 300%, while para-transit has declined by 39%. “Almost 66% trips in Gurgaon are non-motorised and these must be retained. The rest of the 75% of the trips should be shifted to public transport if the city has to be liveable”, said Amit Bhatt, director, WRI.
Experts, however, said there is need to generate more raw data, and conduct primary research that could identify the problems and offer right solutions.