Today Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal have jointly inaugurated the creation of natural water reservoirs to conserve rainwater in River Yamuna floodplains. Both Central government and State Government are serious about the water conservation and revival or rejuvenation or creation of water bodies to collect rain water.
But when you visit this water body at Dwarka located around DDA Pocket at Sector 7 adjacent Command Tank 1 near Palam Village, you would be surprised to see that the alive water body full of rain water is being contaminated by flow of sewer and open defecation from a nearby settlement. On the other hand where the authorities, ministries and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) are serious in revival of dead water bodies this naturally revived water body is at risk due to contamination.
This water body is under the jurisdiction of South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC). Suman Malik an environment expert of Sector 6 Dwarka has been observing the particular water body for last five years. He said, “From Palam Village and Dwarka water flows towards the water body due to its natural slope and this water body has sufficient water this time during rains. I have seen it in summers too with water though in small quantity. There is continuous sewer water flow and dirty water flow from the nearby areas to the water body. The water is flowing into the tank of the water body. This is not good as the entire pure natural rain water would be contaminated. Not only this, but also when there is less water, the water body is used for open defecation.”
This time the entire water body has been covered with water plants. One part of the water body has been developed in a Community Park by the concerned agency. SDMC has put up a board too that there is a water body with deep water. The water body is in hidden state and is getting contaminated. While visiting the water body and meeting the locals it was learnt that officials seldom take the water body into consideration. “This is a complete failure of Municipal Corporation, DDA and DJB. All the three agencies are responsible for the contamination. Now anything related to water is under the umbrella of Delhi Jal Board and state Government. Think that government is spending crores of money on revival of water bodies. And here the naturally revived water body is in crisis due to lack of concern and callousness from all the agencies associated with it. This should be taken seriously and the water body should be saved,” said Diwan Singh an eminent water activist from Dwarka.
In Delhi there are many water bodies under DDA, DJB and Municipal Corporation in which sewer and the dirty water from nearby colonies are discharged. Though the civic agencies have put up boards that these water bodies have water, the water there poses threat to the environment. Director, Toxics Watch Alliance (TWA), Dr Gopal Krishna said that it was the responsibility of civic bodies to ensure that there would be no contamination in pure rain water in natural water body. “Lack of proper coordination and unaccountable approach is the cause of such contamination. There must be proper and strict monitoring and it must be ensured that there is no contamination. For this water body which is near a command tank the subject is serious as it could contaminate the pure water in that command tank too apart from the underground water.”
Director Press Information, SDMC, Radha Krishna said that the subject would be taken into serious concern. He said that concerned officials would be asked about the subject to do the needful soon.