The Gautam Budh Nagar district administration has started a project to rejuvenate nearly 220 dying ponds in Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway area. The work has been started with the revival of a pond in Greater Noida’s Iteda village.
With the groundwater level falling at an alarming rate in the district, the administration has prepared a ‘ponds rejuvenation plan’.
“The administration has made a list of such ponds. We discussed a detailed rejuvenation plan during a meeting,” said district magistrate NP Singh. Of the 220 ponds that are being revived, 70% are in Greater Noida and 30% in Noida.
According to a Central Ground Water Board report, the groundwater level fell at a rate of 3.87 metres per year, against the earlier one metre per year, in the district’s two largest blocks —Dankaur and Bisrakh — from 2008 to 2012.
Officials said replenishing groundwater has become “the most important task” in the district.
“Two of the flour blocks in the district — Bisrakh and Jewar — have been put in the ‘over exploited’ category. Overexploitation means that the groundwater is extracted at a rate that exceeds the recharge rate,” said Vikrant Tongad, an environmentalist.
Noida and Greater Noida West is part of the Bisrakh block. Only the Dadri block is in the safe zone because it is located next to a canal. The Dankaur block has been put in the semi-critical zone.
There are 929 ponds in the district and more than 505 of them have been grabbed by the land mafia.
“I have issues directions that if any pond area falls in a realty project, the builder should develop a pond in the project,” said the DM.
“We will not spend money on pond rejuvenation. We will dig the pond areas as they have been filled by land grabbers and sell the soil. The money collected from the sale will be used for pond rejuvenation,” said the DM.