Noida: Experts warn residents of impending water scarcity
Dr Bhurelal spoke on the need to cleanse the Yamuna river to ensure that the residents are not devoid of freshwater supply.noida Updated: Feb 02, 2018 22:28 IST
Environment experts and former bureaucrats warned residents of Noida and Greater Noida of a looming water scarcity in the decades to come and recommended residents to cut waste generation and limit the use of freshwater.
“In areas of western Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Delhi-NCR, the groundwater level is depleting at the rate of 2-3 metres per year. Recently, I had conducted a survey in Meerut and identified a total of 1,200 water ponds, whereas according to records, the city had 3,000 ponds earlier. By 2050, our resources on the planet will be just enough to sustain a population of 8 billion but the world population will reach this figure by 2030. Water scarcity is an issue, which is impending for all of us,” Dr Bhurelal, chairman, Environment Protection Control Authority, a Supreme Court-appointed body, said.
Dr Bhurelal and other experts were speaking at the NGY Infra Conclave Edition-V in Noida on Friday, wherein officials of Noida, Greater Noida and Yamuna Expressway authorities along with senior police officers, corporate representatives, entrepreneurs and civil society were invited to brainstorm on the developmental challenges in areas under the three authorities.
Dr Bhurelal also spoke on the need to cleanse the Yamuna river to ensure that the residents are not devoid of freshwater supply.
“The Yamuna is a dead river and there is no aquatic life in it. Recently, I went on a survey of the Yamuna from Wazirabad to Okhla in Delhi, covering 22 kilometres and I realised that the riverbed has only light soil. We can cleanse the river by pumping in freshwater. All we have to do is to ensure that waste is treated at Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) with state-of-the-art facility before dumping it in the river. Often, the flow of the river is sufficient to take care of impurities,” Dr Bhurelal said.
KS Mehra, a former commissioner of a municipal corporation of Delhi, spoke on the need to segregate the waste at an early stage.
“Our recommendation is for a waste processing facility to be set up in Noida so that we don’t have huge dump sites in Noida on the lines of those in Delhi. The authority must plan to segregate the waste in the early stage so that the sewage generated is not thrown in the drains,” Mehra said.
Ashok Tiwari, regional officer of UP Pollution Control Board, Greater Noida, said that the state government is planning for a future in which residential societies, housing complexes and restaurants will have their individual waste segregation facility.
“Every day, Noida produces 600 metric tonnes of waste and Greater Noida produces 150 metric tonnes of waste. It is a mammoth task for the administration to segregate and treat the waste on a daily basis. In the future, all residents’ welfare associations (RWAs), housing complexes, hotels, restaurants and other bodies will have to segregate the waste on their own. We are looking at waste minimisation and we need the support of all sections of the society,” Tiwari said.
Another expert, D Pandey, a retired Indian Forest Service (IFS) officer, spoke on the need to adopt a minimalist lifestyle, which is devoid of increasing consumerism.
“Nature has her own mechanism of repair but we have taken air and water for granted over the centuries. Four decades ago, we hardly needed 10-15 litres of water from a well to take bath but now, the rich spend more than 100 litres of water on an individual. Similarly, public transport needs to be encouraged and senior officials must embrace it. I suggest planting more and more trees and cutting down on the consumeristic lifestyle in order to curb rising water and air pollution,” Pandey said.