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Delhi set to store water in Yamuna flood plain

NEW DELHI: To achieve self-sufficiency of water, the Delhi government on Wednesday gave its nod to a project to create reservoirs in the Yamuna flood plain by store overflowing water from the river during the monsoon season, an official statement said. The pilot for the project, which has the potential for ending Delhi's water shortage, particularly during summer months, is aimed to start in a month's time, the statement said.

The Delhi Cabinet, in its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, on Wednesday approved the inter-departmental committee report on the project.

In a statement, the Delhi government said, "The pilot project has been fast paced due to the hourly monitoring by the Chief Minister on a personal basis. He has been keenly pushing for the ambitious pilot project which is going to be a game-changer for Delhi. It was not possible for such an ambitious and huge project to take off without the personal constant monitoring of the Chief Minister. The 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 the harsh summer months. The report recommended that an amount of Rs 77,000 per acre should be paid to the farmers for leasing their land for the pilot project. The farmers will get the sum according to the number of acres of land they give the government on lease for the pilot project."

The government claims that the pilot project will prove to be a game-changer not only for Delhi, but for the whole country which is facing huge water crisis in different parts. It also said the project is first of its kind in the country. "The important project aims at conserving water in the Yamuna floodplains and creating a mega reservoir between Palla and Wazirabad to deal with the water shortage in Delhi, particularly during summer months," the government said.

The project envisages creation of small ponds in the floodplains which will catch overflows from the Yamuna during the monsoon. "When the present government came to power in February 2015, only 58% of Delhi had piped water connection at their homes. In a time of four and a half years, the number of households with piped water has gone up from 58% to 88%," said Chief Minister official.

The Chief Minister has also made it clear that he plans to provide every household of Delhi 24-hour drinking water supply. "Most of the approvals have been received for the pilot project, barring two from the National Green Tribunal (NGT) committees, which are expected very soon," it said.

Soon after the cabinet meeting, the Chief Minister called up the Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat. He thanked the Union Minister for the quick approvals by the Centre for the project.

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