The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government to clean and restore all the natural water bodies in Delhi within three weeks. The directive came after a plea expressed concern over the depletion of the water table in the city.
The green panel also directed the city government and agencies concerned to ensure that these water bodies receive rainwater in good quantity before onset of monsoon.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also issued notices to Ministry of Environment and Forests, Ministry of Urban Development, Delhi government, Central Ground Water Authority (CGWA), Delhi Development Authority, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and others while seeking their reply within two weeks.
“We direct the NCT Delhi, CGWA and DJB to clean, maintain and restore all the bodies, natural wells and other water bodies which are in existence in NCT of Delhi, within three weeks. It should be made sure that for the coming rainy seasons these water bodies can receive rainwater in good quantity. All the three authorities NCT, Delhi, DJB and CGWA shall submit the compliance report to the tribunal on or before the next date,” the bench said.
The matter is now listed for next hearing on August 9.
The order came while hearing a plea by NGO CHETNA seeking directions to provide mechanism and proper system for installing and maintaining eco-friendly and cost effective techniques throughout the country for rainwater harvesting during monsoons.
“It is estimated that on an average, New Delhi receives 611 mm of rainfall on a yearly basis. Therefore, even if 50 per cent of this rainwater is harvested, this may help in easing the burden on regular water supply to some extent… ” the plea said.
“It may also help in recharging the depleting water table which is decreasing at an alarming rate due to large scale extraction of ground water, which needs to be compensated through cost-effective and substantially effective implementation of rainwater harvesting techniques,” it added.