Gurgaon Forest Department has decided to construct ponds in the catchments areas of Aravalli mountain range in an attempt to recharge the ground water table. The department has already constructed two such ponds in Ghamdoz and Maneser, with five more in the pipeline at Mandawar, Ghata, Sakatpur, Tikli and another at Ghamdoz, to conserve water during monsoon.
“The idea came up last year, when there was news about villages around Aravalli getting flooded. The forest department had identified some of the places, including Ghamdoz and Maneser, situated in the foothills of Aravalli, to develop as lake areas,” said Vasvi Tyagi, DFO, Gurgaon.
Ghamdoz and Maneser catchments are spread across 150- and 200-hectare lands respectively, with capacity to store water up to ten feet deep. The department has also designed 17 structures to function as dams to slow the speed of water flowing down the hills.
Owing to Gurgaon's property boom in the past two decades, a large number of real estate companies had started developing residential societies. These developers extracted massive amounts of ground water for construction works, causing its depletion.
Property expert Sanjay Sharma believes that forest department's move to construct lakes would help in providing ground water not only to local residents but also to residential societies in the upcoming areas such as Sohna Road and Gurgaon-Faridabad expressway.
"The area around Gurgaon-Sohna road is shaping up well," said Sharma. "It can be something like Greater Noida in the near future. A place like Ghamdoz, adjacent to Sohna road, will eventually be fruitful to residents of upcoming localities in the long run."
Illegal mining has destroyed several natural-water sources in Aravalli. It has also caused a number of pits to develop in the area, stopping natural flow of water heading towards Badkhal, Surajkund, Dhooj, Damdama and Peacock lakes, which were once known for recharging the ground water table. These lakes have completely dried up now.