New action plan for revival of Haryana’s water bodies in 2 weeks
Following a National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order last month that was in response to a petition filed by a city-based activist, the CPCB has drafted new guidelines for conservation and restoration of water bodies.Updated: Jun 29, 2019, 02:58 IST
The Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HSPCB) has decided to prepare an action plan for revival of the state’s water bodies, officials said on Friday. The plan would be developed in two weeks on the basis of new guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), they said.
Following a National Green Tribunal’s (NGT) order last month that was in response to a petition filed by a city-based activist, the CPCB has drafted new guidelines for conservation and restoration of water bodies. The CPCB’s 47 page document, titled ‘Indicative Guidelines for Restoration of Water Bodies’ is available on its website, and prescribes a five-pronged approach for the same, consisting of five phases: ‘recognition’, ‘restoration’, ‘protection’, ‘improvement’ and ‘sustenance’.
“In the matter of recognition, the state of Haryana, and particularly Gurugram district, is ahead of other states as we have already inventoried our water bodies,” said Kuldeep Singh, regional officer, HSPCB. He said that the HSPCB would, on the basis of the new guidelines, submit an action plan for revival of the state’s water bodies before CPCB. The CPCB’s guidelines also call for imposing fines on polluters, creating green belts and buffer zones around water bodies where possible, chemical treatment of water bodies and better irrigation practices, among other measures.
State-level action plans “are to be prepared and submitted to CPCB for seeking approval. The action plan should include activity-wise action points, specific timelines, organization responsible for implementation, budget estimates as well as Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) chart for implementation of action plans within the specified timelines,” the guidelines state.
This development comes after the Haryana government, the Haryana Pond and Waste Water Management Authority (HPWWMA), and the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA) submitted multiple reports between March 2017 and April 2019 before the NGT, comprehensively mapping all water bodies in the state (over 16,600, including 826 in Gurugram district), verifying them against revenue records, satellite images and through field visits.
The water bodies, which include lakes, village ponds, traditional water harvesting structures, and low-lying areas prone to waterlogging, have also been assigned unique identification numbers . The GMDA’s report also notes the ownership patterns of these water bodies — whether public or private — and the possibility for their revival.