Sanjay Lake Park in New Delhi.(Raj K Raj/HT archive)
Sanjay Lake Park in New Delhi.(Raj K Raj/HT archive)

DDA starts work to revive 30 water bodies in its parks

The land-owning agency has prepared a site-specific plan for these water bodies and work on close to 10 water bodies has already begun
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Risha Chitlangia
UPDATED ON DEC 18, 2020 12:47 PM IST

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has started the work to rejuvenate 30 out of 50 water bodies in its parks. The land-owning agency has prepared a site-specific plan for these water bodies and work on close to 10 water bodies has already begun.

There are 122 water bodies under DDA’s jurisdiction of which 50 are located under its horticulture department which is responsible for the maintenance of its district and regional parks and other green spaces.

Rajeev Kumar Tiwari, principal commissioner (horticulture), DDA, said, “We have already prepared a detailed plan for the rejuvenation of 30 out of 50 water bodies under our horticulture department. We are trying to revive the water bodies by channelising stormwater from drains as per site conditions and also by using treated water.”

Work is going on at Mehrauli Archaeological Park where the agency is reviving three water bodies spread over 6-7 acres using phytoremediation -- a bioremediation process.

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A senior DDA official said that the three water bodies are currently flooded with sewer water from the neighbouring residential areas. Using the phytoremediation process, contaminants, pollutants from the soil and water will be removed using various types of plants to remove, transfer, stabilise, and/or destroy contaminants in the soil and groundwater.

“The work at the site started in July. It is a big project and will be completed by next year. Through this technology, we will naturally treat the sewer water in the water bodies,” said the official.

DDA has completed the work at the Ashoka Park in New Friends Colony and at the water body at Sector 5 Dwarka.

In some cases, Tiwari said, recharging the water body is not possible due to high subsoil infiltration rate. “So, we have decided to use it as a rainwater harvesting site by diverting storm water drains,” he said.

At Smritivan in east Delhi’s Kondli, DDA officials said, the water body can’t be recharged due to the nature of soil. “We got the soil test done at the site. Due to the porous nature of the soil at the water body, it is difficult to recharge the water body. We have decided to use the site for rainwater harvesting. We will be creating infrastructure to divert stormwater drains in the neighbouring areas to this waterbody,” said the official.

The 30 water bodies are located in Rohini, Pitampura, Dwarka, Hauz Khas, Mayur Vihar, Tughlaqabad, Dheerpur etc. To revive some of them, the DDA is planning to use treated water from Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs).

Tiwari said that the DDA has prepared a site-specific plan for each water body, depending on its present condition, possibility of recharging it using water from nearby sources.

“There are many water bodies which receive dirty water from nearby drains. We are trying to set up STPs to treat the water with a twin objective of irrigation to the park and ensuring good quality water in the waterbody. Effort is also being made to treat the water through phytoremediation methods wherever feasible,” said Tiwari.

Environmentalist Diwan Singh, who has been working on reviving water bodies in the Capital, said, “It is good that they are now focusing on reviving the water bodies. But using treated water from STPs is not a good idea. The treated water is completely free of contaminants. If this is used, it will only contaminate the groundwater. Stormwater should be used for recharging the water bodies.”

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