Min seeks L-G’s approval for water augmentation projects on DDA land

New Delhi: Water minister Saurabh Bharadwaj on Friday wrote to Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena, requesting him to approve the city government’s water augmentation projects such as the rejuvenation of lakes and installation of tubewells on DDA land.

Bharadwaj said Delhi continues to face a water deficit of nearly 300 million gallons per day (MGD), a problem that is expected to worsen due to the upcoming land pooling and redevelopment projects of the central government and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), along with other commercial developments.

He said Delhi, heavily dependent on neighbouring states for water supply from the Yamuna and Ganga rivers, has been actively engaging with the governments of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to secure more water. However, these efforts have not yielded any positive outcomes so far.

Bharadwaj requested the L-G’s intervention in procuring additional raw water for the people of Delhi from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. The minister said the Delhi government has put into action a sustainable groundwater extraction plan, involving the installation of tube wells and large-scale groundwater recharge efforts.

“As a result, Delhi recharged more water than it extracted in the year 2021-22 as per Central Ground Water Board report,” he said. The government is also rejuvenating lakes and water bodies across the city, including the ones owned by the DDA, after obtaining permission, he said, adding that more than 35 water bodies and six lakes have already been successfully rejuvenated. Bharadwaj rued that the DDA has “withdrawn” the consent given for the rejuvenation of Bhalswa Lake which would have provided 20 MGD of water.

He said despite the DJB’s persistent requests and reminders since February, the DDA has granted permission for only 110 out of the 401 tube wells applied for.

Similarly, permission has been granted for only 61 out of the requested 422 lake and water body rejuvenation projects.

These obstacles hinder the DJB’s efforts to augment Delhi’s water supply, he said, requesting Saxena, who also serves as the chairperson of the DDA, to instruct officials to provide necessary no objection certificates (NOCs) for tube wells, lakes, and water bodies.

According to official estimates, around two crore residents of the capital need approximately 1,300 MGD of water for drinking and daily needs. But the Delhi Jal Board can supply only around 1,000 MGD, leaving many areas grappling with a shortage.

Delhi gets 612 MGD of water from Haryana through two canals and the Yamuna, and 253 MGD from Uttar Pradesh through the Upper Ganga Canal. The rest is drawn from ranney wells and tubewells installed across the city.

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