Good rain this year and last year has made the water body at sector 23 full of water. Activists involved in its revival for a long time are happy these days looking at the replenishment of the tank of the water body. An environment activists and member of Water Body Revival Committee formed by the then LG of Delhi in 2013, Diwan Singh who has been instrumental in revival said, “Water body in district park sector 23 recieved good amount of water from the stormwater drains and local catchment during monsoons. There is a woodland around it where local species of trees have been planted to restore local ecosystem. Looking at the replenishment and the increasing underground water table near it has given a satisfaction.”
Due to good amount of water in the tank, the life of birds and animals has also improved. People have made a small woodland near the water body and as a result many animals such nilgais, peacocks, monitor lizards are often seen next to it. Ducks have made this water body their home.
People have revived the water body at sector 23 and are making efforts for the other such bodies in the area. People from different societies and surrounding villages around Dwarka who are involved in the revival of the water bodies have suggested several measures to the authorities so that the maximum rain water can be accumulated in those water bodies. They said that in most of such places the natural drainage were blocked and due to urbanisation the situation became worse. Diwan Singh said, “ There is a need of support from the civic bodies in making the areas around water bodies like woodland .They should ensure proper drainage so that rain water from residential areas and other areas come to the catchment area of the nearest water body. Last year rain had shown some hope and this year the water body has reached a stable state. We all are making efforts as a team. We have already revived water body at sector 23.”
The community people and environment activists of the area are busy working for revival of water bodies in the area. They are talking to the officials concerned telling them about the work done by them in the last five years in bringing the water bodies alive.
According to sources, On 6th June, 2013, the then Lieutenant Governor of Delhi had formed Dwarka water body committee with people like Diwan Singh and SS Mann from Dwarka , Prof Shashank Shekhar from Delhi University and chief engineer of Dwarka as its member. SS Mann said that members of this committee had managed to discover more than 33 water bodies in Dwarka and initiated work for revival, however, the government authorities were least interested. “We approached NGT to seek revival and protection of water bodies. In November 2016, NGT had passed some orders for the revival of water bodies, but DDA did not pay any heed to those orders leaving everything on residents. We are pooling resources and giving our entire time in making efforts to revive these water bodies to the best we can leaving our family and career aside,” said Mann.
Residents and social organisations of Dwarka especially from Sector 22 and 23 and Pochanpur village have been making efforts since 2011-12 to revive the local water bodies. People involved in the revival of water bodies said that though it was a tough task for them as the authorities were not so supportive earlier, however, in spite of so many ups and downs, the residents have been successful in reviving the water body in sector 23. They are on a path of reviving district park and another water body in Sector 20. “The support from a senior citizens group called Sukh Dukh Ka Sathi and from another group called Jaladikhar has been crucial. The residents pooled resources ,volunteered and contributed in different manners despite being at risk of bitten by reptiles. So it was a tough journey yet we have made efforts and one water body has been revived. Others are on a way of revival,” said Diwan
With the help of students from Delhi University people also measured the pre and post monsoon water levels around the water body and found that in 2015 the level increased by 8 feet and in 2017 it increased by 2 feet. The water quality of the groundwater too has shown significant improvement. There was a 50 percent reduction in the TDS levels in the groundwater in the top layer. Diwan and his team are making efforts in reviving all water bodies based on their previous experiments and success in reviving other water bodies. "We are making the officials aware about what has changed and what is the possibility of revival. This year we want to use each drop of rain for revival of water bodies in the area," said Diwan.