Frequent rains have raised the hope for the revival of water bodies in Dwarka. People have already revived a water body at Sector-23 and are making efforts for the revival of other such bodies in the area. People from different societies and the surrounding villages have suggested several measures to the authorities so that the maximum rainwater can be diverted to those water bodies.
People said that the natural drainage was blocked at most of the places and the situation became worse due to urbanisation.
Environmental activists and member of Water Body Revival Committee, Diwan Singh, said, “Support from the civic bodies is needed in making the areas around water bodies like woodland.”
“They should make the drainage so that the rainwater from the residential areas and also the other areas could come to the catchment area of the nearest water body. This year, rains have raised the hope and we all are making efforts as a team,” said Singh.
With the arrival of good monsoon, the community people and the environmental activists of the area are busy in reviving the water bodies. They are talking to the officials concerned and also sharing their experiences of previous five years in bringing the water bodies alive.
According to the sources, in 2013, the then Lieutenant Governor of Delhi had formed Dwarka Water Bodies Committee with people like Diwan Singh, SS Mann, Prof Shashank Shekhar from Delhi University and Chief engineer of Dwarka.
SS Mann said that members of this committee had managed to discover more than 33 water bodies in Dwarka and initiated work for their revival. He added that the government authorities were least interested in the revival of water bodies.
“We approached NGT to seek revival and protection of water bodies. In 2016, NGT passed encouraging orders but DDA didn't follow it. Now, everything is once again left for the residents who have accepted the fate. They are pooling resources and making efforts to revive these water bodies to the best of their abilities,” said Mann.
Residents and social organisations from sectors 22, 23 and Pochanpur village have been making efforts since 2011-12 to revive the local water bodies. They said that irrespective of so many ups and downs, the residents have been successful in reviving the water body in Sector-23 and District Park. Another water body in Sector-20 is being revived at present.
“The support from a senior citizen’s group called “Sukh Dukh Ke Sathi” and another group called “Jaladikhar” has been crucial. The residents have pooled resources and volunteered for labour. They were also under risk of getting bitten by reptiles. It was a tough journey but we have made efforts and one water body has been revived and the other is on its way of revival,” said Diwan.
People said that the population of birds and different species have increased significantly around the water body at Sector-23. There are fishes and ducks too in the water. People have tried to make small woodland around this water body.
With the help of students of Delhi University, people also measured the pre and post monsoon water levels around the water body. They found that the water level increased by 8 feet in 2015. In 2017, it increased by 2 feet. The water quality of the water body has improved significantly. We noticed 50 per cent reduction in the TDS levels in the groundwater in the top layer.
Diwan said that they have been putting efforts based on their previous experiments. "We are making the officials aware about what has changed and what the possibility of revival is. This year we want to use each drop of rain for the revival of the water bodies in the area," said Diwan.