The Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) has devised a proposal for Nizamuddin Nallah Redevelopment and has been discussing its preliminary assessments with the municipal corporation.
Speaking to Newsline, AKTC’s senior programme officer (Urban Improvements), Shveta Mathur said the project was initiated to restore the Barapullah nallah.
“This is a catchment for this entire area. Though its origin cannot be traced right now, as most of it is covered or encroached upon, the nallah drains into the Yamuna. Drains from Lodhi area, Nizamuddin and portions of South Delhi drain into the Barapullah nallah. It is a natural watershed,” Mathur said.
According to the redevelopment plan, AKTC has ensured that the nallah is covered with plantations on both sides. Special trees, which can be used to clean up water systems and can survive in high-density water areas, have been proposed for the project.
“We don’t want to make cosmetic changes. We want to include plants and trees that can support this ecosystem. Just covering a nallah and wishing away the bad sights and smells does not solve the purpose,” Mathur said.
Nallahs in Delhi — including the one in Barapullah — were tributaries of the Yamuna that originated from the ridge. A tributary from Chirag Dilli nallah meets Kushak nallah, which originates from the central ridge just behind the President’s estate. They meet close to JLN stadium to form the Barapullah nallah,” Manoj Mishra, the head of Jamna Ji Abhiyan said.
The redevelopment plan, he added, had been approved by the Delhi Development Authority. “The DDA is rejuvenating the nallah as a storm water drain. These nallahs are important as they ensure that the city does not flood. They are natural drainage systems. So, if you cover them, where will the water go?” he said.
Between the DDA, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), a plan has already been drafted.
“The proposal is that these drains are not covered or concretised, but restored to their natural ecosystem. The decision about the same is pending before the National Green Tribunal,” he said.