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Dwarka residents revive two water bodies



The Hindu, New Delhi, 4th September, 2014


As Dwarka sub-city continues to battle chronic water shortage, there are two things that the residents can certainly be proud of – the two revived water bodies at Sector 20 and Sector 23.


The two water bodies have been brought to life by the concerted efforts of Environmentalist Diwan Singh, known for the Ridge Bachao Andolan and residents of Dwarka who pursued the DDA and also helped in reviving the water bodies to recharge the ground water.


After concerted effoNow in the water body in Sector 20 one can spot rabbits, nilgai and peacocks. The DDA plans to develop a massive park around the water body.


“In 2007, a movement was started to revive the ponds. The then Chief Minister discussed the plan with us. But nothing much happened on the ground. We then motivated the residents to work with us. DDA executive engineer (water bodies) A.K. Chopra also helped us in the task,” says Mr Diwan Singh.


Water conservationist and Magsaysay award winner Rajendra Singh, more famously known as the “waterman of India” visited the two sites on Wednesday. He noted that the “feeder canal for the water body at sector 20 was broken and could have been wider for better recharge”.


He was happy to note that in just two days nearly1.5 ft water had seeped the ground from this water body and noted that Dwarka’s land is good for recharging of ground water.


“For 15 months, DDA had not been able to divert even 25 per cent storm water from trunk drain to these two water bodies. There are 40 water bodies in Dwarka. DDA Vice- Chairman had assured in June, 2014 that work on at least 9 of these would be completed before monsoon but nothing has been done so far,” says Diwan Singh.


The DDA had identified 63 water bodies in the city, including Dwarka, for revival and had identified NGOs and agencies for the same. However, budgeting is yet to be done.


Dwarka resident S.S. Mann, who was also on the Water Bodies Committee formed by the then Lieutenant-Tejinder Khanna, says, “for many years, DDA did nothing. It was then that people like Diwan Singh and residents of Dwarka worked towards revival of water bodies.”


“The mandate is that not a single drop of water should go to the Najafgarh drain. Reviving one water body is like setting up many rain water harvesting systems,” says Mr. Mann.