New Delhi: The Arvind Kejriwal-led government is working continuously to make Delhi the 'City of Lakes' by developing 250 reservoirs and 23 lakes are being developed across the national capital.
A budget of Rs 376 crore was approved by the Delhi government for 159 water bodies, while a budget of Rs 77 crore was passed for the construction of two big lakes. This project, started by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) in 2017-18, is likely to be finished by 2024.
The foundation stone of the Delhi government's project to revive and develop lakes and reservoirs was laid in 2017. Under this, the DJB was entrusted with the task of reviving and developing about 250 reservoirs and 23 lakes in different parts of the city. The DJB started work on the project in 2018.
Under the project, work is being done in two categories - firstly, on the lakes which have dried up and are in bad condition, and secondly, construction of artificial lakes at seven different locations in the national capital.
Apart from this, the government is also working to revive small water bodies.
The objective of this entire project is to create various reservoirs to prevent urban flooding, to raise the groundwater level, and to resolve the issue of blocked drains.
The initiative will also help in tackling the problem of water scarcity in Delhi.
The Delhi government is rejuvenating these lakes using a sustainable model. Local flora is being planted around the lakes. Along with this, beautification work is being also carried out around these water bodies.
DJB Consultant and Engineer Ankit Srivastava told IANS that the project is the brainchild of Chief Minister Kejriwal. Under this, the priority was to increase the ground water level and to keep its own water reserves ready. Later it was also decided to beautify the surroundings of these water bodies.
He said that about 1,000 MGD of water is supplied in Delhi, out of which 900 MGD comes from other states, while about 100 MGD of water is drawn by the Delhi government itself. After the completion of the project, Delhi will become self-sufficient to a large extent.
According to the DJB, in the first phase of the project, 50 water bodies have been identified, where the waste water used to go. They are now being revived. Apart from this, lakes have been dug at seven places, in which water is being released from sewage treatment plants (STPs).
Piezometers are also being installed in lakes to measure the ground water level.
According to the DJB, in the lakes that were excavated in the first phase, there was an increase of 1.5 to 1.75 metres in the ground water level. After which the lakes are being deepened and better results will be seen in the coming time.
The first water body work under the project was started as a pilot in Rajokri.
Srivastava told IANS that usually the work of water bodies gets completed in 6-7 months, but there are many places where there are encroachments and thus people create obstacles, and due to this, some projects are getting delayed.
According to Srivastava, the water related work in 50 water bodies has been completed. Now, the beautification and tourism related works are being done there.
He said that the work has been completed in Pappan Kalan and Nilothi. While in Dwarka, 90 per cent work has been done, 50 per cent work is completed in Iradtnagar, Shahdara, and Roshanara, 70-80 per cent in Rohini, 95 per cent in Timarpur and 70 per cent work has been completed in Sanauth so far.