The Ghaziabad district administration has identified 32 ponds along river Hindon for rejuvenation. The move is aimed at providing sufficient groundwater recharge to revive the Hindon in the upcoming monsoon.
These 32 ponds are exclusive from the 40 that were recently identified in the four development blocks -- Loni, Rajapur, Murad Nagar and Bhojpur -- for revival this year.
“The decision was taken at a meeting with the commissioner (Meerut) where the principal secretary (irrigation & water resources) was also present. We will now revive the 32 ponds near the river. These ponds fall under three blocks -- Loni, Rajapur and Murad Nagar,” Krishna Karunesh, district’s chief development officer, said.
“Under the revival plan, ponds will be dug up and tree plantation will also be undertaken along with removal of encroachment. We have also written to the municipal corporation to take up revival work in areas of their jurisdiction. Some of these ponds are filled with water, some are encroached upon while several have been given for fisheries project and ‘Chakbandi’ (settlement) issues,” Karunesh said.
He added that commissioner (Meerut) has directed officials of four districts -- Baghpat, Gautam Budh Nagar, Ghaziabad and Meerut -- to prepare a working plan for providing land to reaccommodate ponds that are encroached upon by government agencies.
“The agencies have been asked to submit a plan by June 25. Thereafter, the new ponds will come up on the land provided. Under our current year target of reviving 40 ponds, we have already completed work on 34. The rest will be done with the participation of students, NGOs and locals,” Karunesh said.
Meanwhile, the regional officials from UP Pollution Control Board (UPPCB), who were also present at the meeting in Meerut, said that the dissolved oxygen (DO) level of river Hindon has shot up to 4.8 mg/litre.
“The higher the DO, the more the water becomes amicable for survival of aquatic life. In the last 3 years, the average DO level shot up by 2-3 mg/litre,” Paras Nath, regional manager of UPPCB, said.
However, officials from the Ganga canal project at Meerut said that the high level of DO was due to fresh Ganga water supplied through river Hindon to the Agra canal (starting point of the Hindon barrage near Vasundhara).
“We have been supplying nearly 1,700-1,800 cusecs of fresh water from Jani escape (Meerut) which has led to high DO level of the river water,” SK Sharma, chief engineer (Ganga) at Meerut, said.
Activists said that the river should receive continuous supply of water and be free of industrial pollutants and sewage to sustain aquatic life.
“All interlinked water bodies near the river should be revived and dumping of pollutants should be stopped. The proposed revival of ponds near river Hindon is a welcome step but the exercise should not be restricted just to the digging up of ponds. Experts should also be roped in to ensure that rejuvenated ponds hold sufficient water throughout the year,” Vikrant Sharma, a river activist, said.