NEW DELHI: Anyone above the age of 12 years wishing to preserve or revive waterbodies in the capital can now apply and be a “Wetland Mitra” for Delhi government.
In a notice issued recently by Delhi State Wetland Authority, people have been asked to come forward and become “friends of the wetlands”. Their responsibility would include keeping waterbodies clean and taking the government’s assistance to trap sewage and remedy other localised problems, including removal of encroachments.
However, no payment or honorarium would be made by Delhi government to the Wetland Mitras, added the notice.
A Delhi government official said the concept was taken from Kerala, where such a system has been tried in the past. The aim is to promote efforts from locals willing to adopt johads and local ponds for their preservation. In all, 155 waterbodies across the capital are also planned to be revived in three phases by December 2022.
“The concept is an informal, voluntary and non-statutory network of concerned citizens to foster and promote community engagement in wetland conservation and management efforts. Any individual who can provide their time and services for the protection, management and beautification of their nearby wetlands can apply to become Wetland Mitras,” said the notice.
To apply, one can fill the form on the website of Delhi Parks and Gardens Society. The qualifications include the applicant living or working near a wetland, being above the age of 12 years, having an Indian citizenship and knowing both Hindi and English. Once chosen, applicants would become Wetland Mitra for two years and their work would be assessed every six months.
The individuals would have to work according to the rules and regulations of Wetlands Conservation and Management Rules, 2017.
A Delhi State Wetland Authority official told TOI that they had received over 30 applications so far.