Dwarka on its way to become ‘city of lakes’

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Dwarka on its way to become ‘city of lakes’

Dwarka has seen several citizen-oriented efforts in the past few years to revive waterbodies

Dwarka on its way to become ‘city of lakes’

Dwarka: Dwarka has a new waterbody and soon there will be more of them. While it may not be fully filled with water, the newly created 7-acre pond in Sector 16, Dwarka will soon present a better view. From Saturday, the amount of treated water sourced from Pappankalan sewage treatment plant (STP) being fed into the lake was increased from five million litres a day to ten million litres.

Delhi Jal Board (DJB) would be using this treated water to create two more water bodies inside the Pappankalan STP in Sector 16, one inside the Dwarka water treatment plant and another inside the Najafgarh STP. All projects would utilise in situ measures, such as aeration, floating wetlands and ozonation to remove excess nutrients.

Dwarka has seen several citizen-oriented efforts in the past few years to revive waterbodies which has resulted in rejuvenation of ponds and lakes in sectors 5, 20, 23 and 24. The focus is now on two waterbodies in sectors 8 and 25.

Built under the “City of Lakes” project by the DJB, which is aimed at rejuvenating water bodies in the capital, the new lake is spread across 28,000 sq metres and will recharge the subsurface aquifers with more than five million litres of water every day.

A DJB official said, “In future, the possibility of groundwater extraction could be explored if it reaches a sufficiently high level. Tube wells may also be installed because several education  institutions and a Law University are located nearby. Groundwater extraction for institutional use can be explored once the levels rise to above 7-8 metres.”

The official explained that the lake could also act as a polishing unit for further purifying the water.

The 155 water bodies being rejuvenated fall in 14 groups, with the first phase ones expected to be completed by June, DJB had earlier informed the monitoring committee. Another 42 ponds and lakes are to  be revived by January 2022, while the rest are expected to be finished  by December next year. The frequently cited reasons behind delays in  completion include budgetary constraints due to the pandemic, the lockdown, election model code of conduct and, in some cases, local  resistance.

CitySpidey talked to Diwan singh, an activist who has worked with several locals and a group ‘Sukh Dukh Ke Sathi’ to revive water bodies in sectors 20 and 23 and recently, sector 24’s Dhool Siras.

Singh said that they were against using STP water, adding that the revived  waterbodies would be able to sustain themselves throughout the year by natural means. “Dwarka has adequate stormwater drains. If they are simply cleared out and diverted to a depression, a waterbody can easily be revived or created. The only safer option to use it is half treated water for horticulture purpose where its impurities can be dealt well with by elements of nature with little chance of waste water reaching the aquifer,” he said.

He further said, “A government agency is not expected to develop such an environmentally damaging model. Only fresh rain water captured through storm water drains is the best option. Dwarka has a good network of  storm water drains. They can be kept clean to receive rainwater runoff  and divert to water bodies. Urban areas present a better scope for water body revival than rural areas. It’s because the runoff coefficient in urban areas is 85. Whereas, in rural areas, it is about 20. So, we have much more rainwater available in urban areas than in rural areas. There is no logic in using waste water when so much rainwater runoff is available.”