Of 600 water bodies identified in GMDA survey, 100 fit for revival
The Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), earlier this month, completed a water security survey with the aim to improve groundwater levels through restoration of natural water bodies.
The exercise, which was carried out with CSR funds from a private airliner, has identified more than 600 spots in the district where water bodies are present (or were formerly present). These spots are spread over 129 villages, and were identified using land records going back several decades, GPS systems, GIS mapping, satellite images and field surveys.
A report of the same will be made public in two weeks, GMDA officials said Friday.
“We will now gauge the extent to which these water bodies can be restored,” GMDA?additional chief executive officer MD Sinha said, adding that realistically, about 100 of these would be fit for restoration.
Two of them, one in Sikanderpur Ghosi and another in Wazirabad, are on public land owned by the MCG and HSVP, respectively. “Work on these has already begun,” GMDA advisor on urban environment Rajbir Singh said, emphasising the need to revamp city’s natural recharge and drainage system.
The loss of traditional water bodies and recharge structures has been recognised as a serious threat to the city’s water security.
“One of the main reasons that water has disappeared from these bodies is that traditional structures such as bundhs and johads have been destroyed or encroached upon, hindering the recharge capabilities,” VS Lambha, district hydrologist, said, citing examples of the Wazirabad and Jharsa bundhs, which have been deteriorated in recent years.
As per the 1956 revenue records, there were at least 640 water bodies in Gurugram. These have reduced to just 251 such bodies, show the 2018-19 revenue records. This indicates that 389 water bodies have been lost. “We have identified their locations and will make efforts to revive them,” Singh said.
GMDA chief engineer Lalit Arora said that without reviving these water bodies, it would not be possible to reduce the city’s dependence on Yamuna canal water. “The population has grown from 4,00,000 in 2001 to 18,00,000 in 2017,” Arora said.