Rajender Singh visits newly revived water bodies and plant saplings

Activist, NGOs and local residents got together and visited the newly revived water bodies in Sec-20 and Sec-23 in Dwarka. Rajender Singh planted tree saplings at both the water bodies. In address to residents, he shared his experiences and urged DDA to expedite the work, and complete it so that not a drop of rainwater goes waste into Najafgarh drain. He said that the residents of Dwarka would suffer from water borne diseasies if water bodies are not revived. The quality of ground water would continue to deteriorate and the future generation would suffer badly. 

He encouraged DDA and the residents to continue with these efforts. He said Dwarka is blessed with good size and proportion of greens comparing to other colonies. So Dwarka has potential to improve its water conditions, if the authorities get serious.

Mr. Shashi Kapoor, a senior citizen from the local residents group, called Sukh Dukh ke Saathi, on behalf residents requested Mr A K Chopra, EX EN (Water bodies) to hold monthly meetings with residents on reviewing the work of water bodies. Mr Chopra agreed to the proposal and now , the residents, besides the Commitee members, shall also be regularly involved with revival of water bodies.

The residents together presented a memorandum addressed to Chief Engineer, DDA ( Dwarka).  The memorandum lists the grievances and demands.
The NGOs present were Natural Heritage First, Sukh Dukh ke Saathi, Ek Sangarsh. Ladies, Children, youth and senior citizens were present from Sec-22, 23 and 19. Youth also came from the villages of Pochanpur, bagdola,Kakraula, Bhartal, Dhul Siras and Ambrahi.



Its been more than two years since the struggle started by residents to revive the water bodies in Dwarka. The enormity of issue is well known to all and especially you, as you are heading the development of this sub city. It’s a water scarce colony, amid repeated failures by administration to supply water.

With this crisis in hand, the residents took this initiative to revive the local water bodies. Our partnership with scientists, led us to some research work, that estimated that approx 3 MGD of water can be additionally generated for Dwarka, on a regular, non-invasive basis. That would improve the water table as well as the ground water quality. 

The residents were enthused when Hon’le Lt. Governor formed a Water Bodies Committee in June , 2013 with residents, scientists and yourself as its members. But the enthusiasm was shortlived. Two monsoons have passed since then and we are not able to fully revive even two water bodies! The volunteers left their regular jobs and gave almost full time to assist the administration in completing the works. But, your engineers have been slow and obstructive. Its puzzling and shocking that for 15 months, your engineers have not been able to even divert 25% of storm water from Trunk Drain-II to the two water bodies, one in Sec-20 and other in Sec-23.

This is not to say that we do not acknowledge the work done. 10-20% of storm water is going from TD-II to water body in Sec-20. A sizeable amount of work has been done on creating water carrying channels and feeder channels for the two water bodies in Sec-24.

There are 40 water bodies in Dwarka. When we met Hon’le Vice-Chairman, Shri Balwinder Kumar on 10 June, 2014, we were assured that work on at least 9 water bodies shall be completed before monsoons. But, its sad that not even one water body can boast of completed works till date. At the present going rate of 1 water body in two years, its easy to calculate that it shall take 80 years to revive the 40 water bodies.

Shri Balwinder Kumarji was also very keen to set natural waste water treatment plants, so that water bodies stay full through out the year with treated water. We are hoping something will be started soon. 

Our demands are:

1. Diverting water from TD-II to water body in Sec-20.
2. Diverting water form TD-II to water body in Sec-23.
3. Completing the work on channels in Sec-24, Dhul Siras for the two water bodies.
4. Linking the village storm water exit to the water body in Sec-25 , Bhartal.

5. Deepening and improving capacity of the water bodies: Except for the water body, located behind Cremation Ground in Dhul Siras, no other water bodies we have worked on till now has sufficient capacity.
6. Demarcation of woodland area around all the water bodies in Dwarka. This also needs to be done immediately as sapling plantation can only be done before monsoons end.
7. Mapping the water availability in the catchment area. Entire rainfall must be taken into account and also water that comes from upstream i.e outside Dwarka, airport etc.

Deputing all Ex Ens to identify storm water movements in areas under their jurisdiction, so that, during the lean season, works can be executed for diversion. We have requested this earlier as well, but no progress as yet. At this rate, we will lose another year.
8. Cleaning of storm water drains. Most of them have malba/ silt inside them.
9. Linking storm water drains with the water body.
10. Identifying sites and process filework for creating more water bodies, so that entire storm water is tapped.
11. All concerned DDA officials must have working E mail Ids for communication. And, it should be mandatory for them to rep within 24 hours of working day. A social media group with all officials and active residents must be created for regular feedback and interaction.

Residents of Dwarka
 Rajender Singh
Waterman of India, Ramon Magasaysay Awardee