Govt's promise an eyewash, water bodies yet to see development work
Despite promises made in the Delhi High Court in a case regarding the protection and conservation of surface water bodies, the Delhi government has not initiated work on almost two dozen such entities.delhi Updated: Jan 08, 2012 00:36 IST
Despite promises made in the Delhi High Court in a case regarding the protection and conservation of surface water bodies, the Delhi government has not initiated work on almost two dozen such entities.
Moreover, the proposed 'water body authority' — announced in May 2010 — as a coordinator for all agencies involved in the preservation of such entities has not yet materialised.
Replying to queries by activist Gopal Prasad under the RTI Act, various government departments submitted a comprehensive status report for work on water bodies as per the court's nine-point guideline.
While work for many water bodies is shown as completed, there are almost two dozen examples where action has not even started. For instance, the site of a water body at Dera Mandi near Chhatarpur in south Delhi has been encroached upon. A cremation ground exists at Bakhtawarpur in north Delhi. At Karawal Nagar in northeast Delhi, land for the water body has been allotted to a DTC bus terminal.
Estimates are not prepared for a water body at Bakkarwala village in west Delhi as the area was filled with water, while for another in Mundka, work did not start as the revenue department did not demarcate the area.
It is almost eight months that there is no trace of the proposed water body authority for Delhi. Keshav Chandra, heading the environment department, was unavailable for comments.
Dr SB Singh from Delhi Parks and Garden Society, designated as a nodal agency for the authority, defended the delay. "We are assessing the work to avoid duplication. The Delhi Jal Board, too, plays a role in preventing water bodies from sewage and ground water recharge. It will take another six months for us to finalise the matter," he said.
Vinod Jain from NGO Tapas, who is fighting the case for revival of water bodies, said, "First data should be compiled after a thorough inspection. Only then, the next step should be decided."