With the temperature rise, the only revived water body of Dwarka at Sector 23 DDA Park is drying up these days. Environmentalists and nature enthusiasts in Dwarka are concerned about the depleting water level and the species living in and around the water body.
Praveen Gehlot, a passionate photographer, has been clicking photographs of the water body for a long time. He has created his collection of the ecology and different species in and around the water body. “I have never seen this water body in such a poor state before. If the water level continues to go down, I am sure there will be no sign of it by June. There is no effective source of water to save its ecology and the species dependent on it. A makeshift arrangement was made by the authority which supplies water from tubewell to it, but that is not sufficient to keep it filled throughout the summer.”
The water body has been a subject of concern for the community as it was the result of their efforts led by Diwan Singh an eminent environment activist from Dwarka who initiated the revival campaign more than a decade ago. Diwan Singh was also a member of the water body revival committee constituted by the Delhi LG in the past.
Diwan says, “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 it. 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. So there must be a serious concern from the authorities to keep it alive forever.”
Diwan further expresses his concern, “The present situation is negatively affecting the biodiversity sustenance in the area. Many species that depend on the water body are now vanishing. The migratory birds that visit regularly are disappearing. The remaining little water is developing a lot of unwanted weeds and making it difficult to support the aquatic life inside.” President of Sukh Dukh Ke Sathi, a social organisation of senior citizens, SS Mann who has been associated with Diwan Singh for the water body says, “ DDA horticulture department needs to look into the crisis as they are supposed to look after the entire area. There should be a separate STP to supply water to the water body to keep it alive the whole year.”