Delhi Jal Board begins Bhalswa lake clean-up
The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has initiated the clean-up and rejuvenation of the Bhalswa lake — one of the largest water bodies in Delhi spread over 150 acres — with the phase one of the project focusing on revamping the drainage network and cleaning a 30 metre periphery where waste has accumulated over the years.
Originally falling under the jurisdiction of Delhi Development Authority (DDA), the lake’s revamp was brought under the state government’s “City of lakes” project last year.
Located right next to the Bhalswa landfill and Bhalswa Dairy Colony, the water body remains severely polluted due to constant discharge of animal waste as well as groundwater contamination from the landfill, a senior DJB official said.
“In the first phase of the rejuvenation project, we are focusing on controlling the sources of pollution and cleaning up waste that has accumulated over the past few decades. People have illegally punctured the drains from dairy colony to dump animal excreta in the water body. The first phase will revamp the drainage network and, simultaneously, we will also clean a 30m periphery of the lake where solid waste has accumulated, making island like formations. The estimated cost of first phase is ₹5 crore,” said a DJB official working on the project.
The water utility will also lay down an interceptor drain along the periphery of the lake to act as a second layer of protection for contaminants in the future. It will channel the sewage into the supplementary drain.
The official said agencies have begun work on phase one, adding that it is expected to be completed before monsoon this year.
Under the second phase of the project, DJB will undertake measures for purifying the water. “We have decided to link the Bhalswa lake with the outlet water from the recently inaugurated Coronation Pillar Sewage treatment plant. In situ water polishing will be carried out by replicating the interventions made in Sanjay Van lake,” another official explained, again asking not to be named.
At Sanjay Van lake, a total of 597 floating rafters with pollutant-absorbing plants were introduced to improve the water quality. The water utility estimates that the project will be over before monsoon next year.
Environmental activist Diwan Singh said, “The sand in this region is young alluvium, it has a very fast groundwater recharge capacity. It is crucial to revive sites like Bhalswa.”