Panel says zoo water contamination situation 'alarming and grim'
The contamination level in the water accumulated inside the premises of National Zoological Park (NZP) due to lack of proper drainage is far more than the prescribed standards for inland surface water.delhi Updated: Jul 18, 2011 01:39 IST
The contamination level in the water accumulated inside the premises of National Zoological Park (NZP) due to lack of proper drainage is far more than the prescribed standards for inland surface water. This was found by a three-member committee appointed by the Delhi high court. In its report to the court, the committee refers to the contamination levels as "alarming and grim".
In September last year, more than two-dozen black bucks had died after consuming the contaminated water. Sewage had mixed with water that had flown back during heavy rains due to a lack of proper drainage system at and around the Park.
The three-member committee was appointed by the Delhi High Court after Hindustan Times reported in May how the MCD had not even started the construction for a drain.The committee, which included advocate Raj Panjwani, during an inspection in first week of June, had observed that a substantial quantity of effluents was being discharged from Sunder Nagar into the zoo area resulting in a large dirty pond. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) was asked to test samples from the pond.
The levels of suspended solids, chemical oxygen demand and bio-chemical demand were found higher than permissible limits, even more than in public sewers.
The committee has recommended measures to collect effluents from Sunder Nagar area and discharge it directly into the main trunk sewer. Deep Mathur, MCD's Director, Press and Information, explained, "We had already pumped out the accumulated water. A permanent chamber has been constructed to collect effluents from Sunder Nagar area."
However, the main cause of concern for the panel was the fact that work for a covered storm water drain from Sunder Nagar through zoo area to the railway culvert had not even begun. MCD officials have carried out the survey to work out a suitable option for what is called channel 15.
Just outside the zoo on the east is the culvert at the railway washing yard. The MCD has begun civil work for the drain that stretches from the culvert till Ring Road to connect to another drain leading to Yamuna. However, "the stretch of the culvert under the railway track has huge accumulation of sludge," the report says.
After listening to Panjwani's submission and the facts pointed out in the report, the court has now summoned the MCD commissioner to attend the next hearing.