Neela Hauz inspected; PWD sets month's time to remove debris
Ahead of the May 31 deadline set by the Delhi high court in connection with the Neela Hauz lake, officials of the PWD, DDA and DJB together inspected the site on Saturday and decided to work in tandem to restore the water body.
The public works department (PWD) that has constructed a bridge across the lake on the Aruna Asaf Ali Marg is
supposed to clear the debris from the lakebed and hand it over to Delhi Development Authority (DDA), which in turn, plans to develop it as a biodiversity park.
Residents from the nearby area, fighting to save the 800-year-old lake, have also complained about untreated sewage polluting the water.
Amid initial hiccups such as blame game as to who would do what, officials from the PWD, DDA and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) along with residents' representatives visited each spot around he lake's periphery, where the Neela Hauz Residents' Group pointed out problems.
Malvika Kaul, who had filed the writ in the court, and another resident Anuradha Mehrotra welcomed the initiative of the agencies, and said, "We hope the DJB takes action to check the inflow of the sewage into the lake."
Between PWD and DDA, the officials agreed that PWD would clear the debris up to the top of the foundation of the bridge.
The team also wanted to inspect the sewage system at an international research institute on the west side but was not allowed to enter by the security personnel.
The DJB officials have now decided to carry out inspection on May 27 at the two institutes, both on the periphery of the lake, from where they suspected sewage and/or untreated affluent is flowing into the lake.
Environmentalist Nitya Jacob said, "Hopefully, attention is also paid to clearing the pond vis-à-vis removing the alligator weed and water hyacinth."
The officials prepared a point-by-point report about problems and solutions to be handed over to the PWD secretary. An official from one of the three agencies expressed apprehension if the work would complete by May 31 as the agencies have already missed several deadlines before.
The PWD has set a deadline of one month for handing it over to the DDA.