The state government’s ambitious plan to store water in the Yamuna floodplains received a fillip with the state cabinet approving an inter-departmental committee report which recommends giving farmers in Delhi Rs 77,000 annually per acre for land leased for the project. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal granted the nod Wednesday.
Under the project, a string of ponds would be created between Palla and Wazirabad which, according to official estimates, would store 2,100 million gallons of water every time the river overflows. A DJB official had earlier said they expect 15 flood cycles on average each year.
An official involved with the project said land parcels of 10 acres or above would be acquired under the plan. Farmers with smaller farms will also be allowed to pool their land for the project, the official added. The project is currently awaiting approval from two NGT committees, which is “expected soon”.
“Chief Minister is fully convinced that only recycle and recharge of water are the solutions to the problem of water scarcity in the national capital, particularly during harsh summer months,” a statement released by the state government said. The state irrigation and flood control department, which is heading the project, has one month to carry out the groundwork.
“Soon after the cabinet meeting, the CM called up the union Jal Shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and thanked him for the full cooperation Delhi received from the Centre for the project,” the statement said.
The statement also mentioned that piped water connection in Delhi has increased to 88% from 58% when AAP came to power in February 2015.
“The CM’s dream is to make every household of Delhi have piped water connections so that they don’t face any problem in getting drinking water,” the statement added.