Nearly third of Delhi's water bodies beyond revival: Report

Among the 1,050 water bodies on record in Delhi, 680 have been freshly surveyed while around 400 among those have either been ‘encroached upon’ or have ‘dried up’ and could not be revived.

Published: 15th February 2022 07:33 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th February 2022 07:33 AM   |  A+A-

Wetlands

Wetland (Representational Image)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Around 400 odd water bodies in the national capital have either been encroached upon or dried up over the past years, as per an ongoing survey, that is being undertaken by the state wetland authority. 

According to officials, among the 1,050 water bodies in records, 680 have been freshly surveyed and studied upon while around 400 are those which have either been ‘encroached upon’ or have ‘dried up’ and could not be revived. 

As per a 2019 order of Delhi High Court these water bodies need to be conserved better and maybe notified as wetlands for greater protection, which had initially prompted the Delhi Wetland Authority to revisit these water bodies. 

“An extensive exercise has been taken up to ascertain the current status of these water bodies and prepare brief documents. The around 400 that have died are being put under broad categories to be studied further including an investigation into the factors that led to its disappearance, prepare reports on the same and request the department under whose jurisdiction it may fall to put its fresh status on record,” said a senior official.

Officials said that the survey is based on sources including 2010 satellite imagery data, a case filed in the HC on the matter and secondary research, which is being done by the wetland authority under the environment department. 

All these water bodies fall under the jurisdiction of at least 22 different departments including the environment, municipal corporations and Delhi Development Authority, among others. “For some, we have already written letters to different departments referring them the case while others are in process. For some of these that are “untraceable”, web research needs to be taken up. Also, in these cases, brief documents need to be improved and we will be organising workshops on the same. Besides, we will be preparing a fresh list of our listed wetlands, which will be shared with all departments for reference and status record,” the official said. 

Besides, initiatives will be taken up to engage citizens in the conservation of these water bodies, as they are the ones who need to be sensitised first for the cause. The water bodies that have been identified will be preserved under the Wetland (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017.



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