NEW DELHI: To prevent extraction of groundwater and ensure unremitting water supply for gardening purposes, the Delhi government has decided to grant financial assistance to Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs), maintaining parks and gardens, to set up Sewage Treatment Plants (STP) to treat wastewater at the sites.
A RWA or NGO will be provided an ‘additional’ one time grant of Rs 3.55 lakh per acre for STP of minimum five kilo liters per day (KLD) capacity including Rs 50,000 for motor pumps and laying supply lines. If the cost of the STP exceeds the cap fixed by the government, the difference amount will have to be arranged by the concerned association or the organisation.
“We should only be using treated water for parks and gardens. However, the city has only 35-40 STPs at different locations from where treated water has to be fetched to the park or garden. After STPs at the parks or gardens, the associations will not need to spend on tankers being used to supply water. The arrangement will also help the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), which has to spend on laying a network of pipelines from the STPs to small colonies,” said KS Jayachandran, chief executive officer (CEO) of DP&GS.
According to the society, about 500 RWAs get grants from the government for the maintenance of nearly 1,700 parks and gardens. In February, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) directed Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to ensure that freshwater was not used for gardening purposes in public parks.
The tribunal also asked the DJB to provide treated water to public parks and to stop extraction of groundwater for gardening. However, Jayachandran is not related to the tribunal order but the purpose is the same. The government has also increased annual financial assistance being disbursed to RWAs and NGOs for maintenance of parks and gardens from Rs two lakh per acre to Rs 2.55 lakh per acre without STP and Rs 2.80 lakh per acre including maintenance of Sewage Treatment Plants. Additional Rs one lakh per acre will be given for creation or development of a new park for which adequate provisions were made in the budget.