Dwarka: The water body in Sector 23 is considered by the experts to be gifted in terms of the availability of fresh water in its catchment. However recently, a local stormwater drain of Sector 22 and 23 that brings rainwater from IGI airport and Sector 8, was allegedly found carrying contaminated or sewage water. This stormwater drain further released its contaminated water into the waterbody of Sector 23, contaminating its water and endangering the flora and the fauna of the area in addition to giving a foul smell.
Diwan Singh, an environment enthusiast of Dwarka who was instrumental in reviving this water body, and regularly visits the waterbody says that the stormwater drains are not meant to carry dirty water, still, in this drain, the water was contaminated.
Alleges Diwan Singh, "There is a private firm working on a project in Dwarka Sector 23. For their convenience, they had diverted the flow of the stormwater drain of Sector 22 and 23 into the waterbody of Sector 23. For three days, when it rained last weekend, contaminated water kept flowing into the waterbody."
He further tells us, "That stormwater drain already carries contaminated water which it should not. Still, it isn't done to divert its flow towards the waterbody instead of the trunk drain. The firm should have made some alternative arrangements. Now the waterbody is brimming with contaminated water and as a result, we can't see any fishes in that waterbody now and it's smelling bad."
The influx of contaminated water to the waterbody has ceased as of now, but this has raised alarm bells among the residents. The residents have now written to DDA to highlight various issues regarding the waterbody.
In a complaint that Diwan Singh and other environmental enthusiasts have filed to Chief Engineer, Dwarka, it is mentioned, "The community volunteers have to work in every rain to open the inlet only after the dirty water is flushed out in the first hour or so. However, it can not always be so accurate and slips do happen risking the water body’s quality. And, it's not possible to do it if it rains at night. So, it is requested to take action to stop the inflow of any kind of sewage / dirty waste water into this drain."
The complaint further mentions, "Similarly, TD-II used to bring a humungous amount of dirty water in it. However, TD-II is low in height, and water from it can only reach the water body when it is blocked and raised to a level and then diverted to the water body. Except for 2-3 heavy rains, this water goes waste without entering the water body. A mechanism exists to do so as a Baffle wall (mini barrage) was constructed by DDA here to divert this water. But, if the ongoing project requires the Baffle wall to be dismantled, this would make it impossible for stormwater to be diverted to the water body."
Diwan Singh and SS Mann, another environment enthusiast, along with HS Rawat, Executive Engineer, DDA and SK Meena, Deputy Director, Horticulture visited the waterbody on May 21, 2022. The visit was done in order to explore spots for creating more depressions where surplus water during these rains can be stored and recharged. This would particularly help in avoiding the overflow of water onto the roads.
As per the complaint letter, the task identified was not a big one. An earthmover employed for 2-3 days can prepare these ditches.
The letter also mentions, "It was also discussed to desilt the water body and increase its capacity by deepening it. The water body can be emptied in 2-3 days. The digging process may take another 4-5 days. This is achievable before monsoons. The entire process would not take more than 10 days."
According to the complainants, this would also help them weed out the catfish population inside the water body. Catfish is an exotic species not native to our aquatic system and it finishes other fish and other aquatic species in the water.