In times of shortage, Delhi suffocating its water bodies, says survey
The city is eating up its water bodies, reveals a survey by Campaign for Preservation of Commons (CPC) that comprises several NGOs.india Updated: Jun 29, 2012 02:53 IST
The city is eating up its water bodies, reveals a survey by Campaign for Preservation of Commons (CPC) that comprises several NGOs. The survey, carried out on nearly 214 water bodies across 50 villages in southwest Delhi, found that 23 of them have been encroached upon or acquired by government agencies. Three have been encroached upon by private organisations.
There are a total of 629 water bodies in Delhi.A government affidavit filed in the Delhi high court a few years ago mentioned that there were 168 water bodies in southwest Delhi. But the CPC felt the affidavit did not mention the actual number. So it filed RTI applications with various government departments. "These revealed that 25 water bodies had not been mentioned in the affidavit," said a CPC member.
The campaigners also found that 128 water bodies in the area had boundary walls and 133 needed desilting and/or deepening. “Slopes should ideally not be concretised. Also, desilting should be an annual affair. The traditional method of harvesting is holistic as it improves water table and sustains biodiversity,” said Professor Vikram Soni, an environmentalist.
However, the survey found that 131 water bodies had little or no vegetation around them. Said Diwan Singh, one of CPC activists, “What is paradoxical is that Delhi has been demanding more water from its neighbour states but neglecting and abusing its own resources.”
The reasons, Singh claimed, have more to do with not managing the catchment areas. “Water flows to storm water drains or evaporates where it falls. This wastage of natural resources is no less than a criminal omission by government agencies,” he added.