To avert another water crisis in the capital, the Delhi government is planning to create a month’s back-up of water for the city. According to Water Minister Kapil Mishra, water that seeps in to the floodplain between Palla and Wazirabad during the monsoon will be tapped via wells and tubewells. Officials said the water can be taken out when needed and supplied to the city.
The move comes in the wake of the water crisis in the city due to the Jat stir in February. The government had directed officials to prepare a backup plan for alternative sources of water so that residents don’t face such problems in future.
“The plan is to extract the water through a series of tubewells and rainwells. This will be stored in the wells and supplied to the city,” said Mishra.
He added that the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) decided to implement the scheme after a pilot project on the Palla floodplain proved successful.
The scheme, called ‘Preserve and Use’, will restore 90 wells around the floodplain to extract the water. Once the project is completed, the government claimed it would be the first-of-its-kind in the world.
Sources said the government will soon begin restoration and maintenance of the wells. The minister said he would inspect the site Wednesday.
Diwan Singh, an expert who has been associated with the project, said it was proposed as part of the Yamuna Satyagrah in 2007.
“During our research, we found that water can be extracted from floodplains that get recharged during the monsoon. A few years ago, an official in the Prime Minister’s Office heard of our idea and asked the Central Water Commission to take it up with the DJB,” said Singh.
He added that the soil on the floodplain is 60 metres deep. “The sand is highly porous and permeable, which helps in absorbing and storing the water,” said Singh.