The condition of the woodland that has been developed around the water body in Sector 23, Dwarka, has become a cause for concern for residents and environmentalists. According to them, several incidents of fire this summer have caused severe damage to the flora and fauna in the area.
They say that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has had a callous approach towards the issue of fire incidents, such as the rampant burning of leaves in the sub city.
The water body in the sector was revived by the combined effort of residents, RWAs, social organisations and the DDA a few years ago. The administration had also ordered that the water body be preserved.
But those involved in its revival, such as the members of the water body committee formed by the Lt Governor in 2012, are disappointed with the approach of the DDA and other agencies. Diwan Singh, an environmentalist and member of the water body committee, says, “Lt Governor has ordered that the woodland around the water body be preserved in its natural form. However, every year the grass and saplings are seen burning. Precious biodiversity has been lost. Our pleas to the chief engineer [Dwarka] and horticulture department of DDA have fallen on deaf ears.”
Shobhit Chauhan, an RTI activist, says, “There have already been four to five incidents of fire in the woodland this season. This is devastating as it’s the breeding season for birds. They lay eggs on the ground and the eggs are hidden by the grass. Fire during this time directly affects the birds.”
“The DDA’s horticultural staff always give the same explanation that it is the work of anti-social elements. A huge area of the woodland was burnt and nobody seemed to notice,” Chauhan added.
Resident bodies, social organisations and various groups have been raising voice against the state of affairs. Madhuri Varshney, a social activist working on civic issues in Dwarka and a resident of Ekta Apartments, Sector 3, says, “It’s very sad that despite the efforts of the environmentalists and resident bodies, the authorities are not serious about the issue. The DDA and Municipal Corporation of Delhi [MCD] should ensure that such incidents do not happen.”
Singh suggests, “It is easy to prevent fires. Small crisscross patterns into water channels across the woodland would do the job. During summers water may be released in these channels every week so that the ground remains moist. It is a small job and only little water is needed. Even waste water can be used to avoid fresh water usage. I feel the authorities should think about it.”
TAGS: Woodland / Sector 23 / Dwarka / Delhi Development Authority / Horticulture department / Madhuri Varshney / Ekta Apartments / Sector 3 / Municipal Corporation of Delhi / Shobhit Chauhan