Dwarka: The water level in the water body at Sector 23 Dwarka has declined due to the rise in temperature. It’s the only water body in the area that was fully revived through the efforts of both residents and authorities. Environmentalists, experts and birders associated with the water body have called the current condition worse than before.
They have cited low rain and no source of water to feed the water body this year as the reasons for the decline in its water level. The water level is lowest this February in comparison with last year.
Praveen Gehlot, a passionate photographer, has been clicking photographs of the water body for a long time. He has created his own collection of the ecology and different species in and around the water body. “I had never seen such a poor state of water body in the past. If the water level continues to go down, I am sure it will dry up completely this Summer. There is no alternative source of water to save its ecology and the species dependent on it.”
The water body has been a subject of concern for the Dwarka community as it was the result of their efforts.
Diwan Singh, who is an eminent environmentalist from Dwarka, has been instrumental in the revival of the water body. He was also a member of the water body revival committee constituted by the Delhi LG. As per him, there is a dire need for the authority to show some serious concern in this regard. He further shares his findings with Cityspidey. “The water body located in District park, Sector 23, Dwarka is a 200 years old structure traditionally known by the name “Naya Johad.” It belonged to the village Pochanpur as their natural commons. Now, it's under DDA. In 2012, residents of Sec 22, 23 represented by their group Sukh Dukh ke Satthi and villagers of Pochanpur joined hands to revive this water body which was almost dry with some filthy water. The community worked to de-silt and deepened it and linked it with a nearby stormwater drain. The whole process also involved coordinating with authorities. Capt SS Mann, now president of Sukh Dukh Ke Sathi, and I were also incorporated as members of the LG-appointed Dwarka Water Bodies Committee,” he stated. “One hallmark of this water body is that we managed to get a woodland area of about two acres conserved around it where no grass or tree cutting or any other invasive activity is permitted. This helps develop the water body as part of a complete ecosystem which not just supports diverse aquatic life but also other wildlife. It has become a hotspot for nature enthusiasts, birders and picnic goers,” he added.
Diwan further says, “The water body has done a wonderful job in recharging and improving groundwater levels in the surroundings. But, since the natural groundwater levels are very low, the water level in the water bodies also goes down during the lean season. Till now we have made use of a nearby tubewell to refill the water body. The result of this exchange of water has always proved fruitful as the groundwater levels in areas surrounding water bodies have always been higher than those 100 metres away. It has been a truly symbiotic relationship between the water body and local ecology. But, the tubewell has now become defunct due to some technical snag.”
“The present situation is negatively affecting the biodiversity sustenance in the area. Many species that had come to depend on the water body are now vanishing. The migratory birds that visited regularly are disappearing. “The remaining little water is developing a lot of unwanted weeds and making it difficult to support the aquatic life inside,” He further explained.
Diwan and his associates have appealed to the authorities to operationalise the nearby tubewell. “We also urge to bring treated water from Dwarka STP through tankers and lay a pipeline for continuous flow of water,” says he.