NEW DELHI: In a joint letter, 44 residents’ welfare associations of south Delhi have appealed to lieutenant governor to look into the issue of borewell closure in parks.
Borewells in most of the parks have either been sealed, or are going to be sealed soon by municipality on the instructions of National Green Tribunal. The tribunal had issued an order in 2019 for sealing of borewells to improve groundwater level.
The RWAs claim that as the parks are drying up, sealing of borewells would discourage residents from maintaining them in the future. They have urged the LG to call a joint meeting with the agencies concerned, and have also suggested measures for improving groundwater level in their areas.
“While all of us are in agreement about the necessity of not using the fast-depleting groundwater for watering public parks, closure of borewells like this seems to be abrupt and has left us in a bind. Given the current polluted and environmentally degraded state of the city, parks are perhaps the only refreshing green spaces for citizens and we need a solution to conserve these. It would be unfair to let these parks dry without finding an immediate solution,” said Ruby Makhija, secretary of the Navjiwan Vihar RWA.
Many RWAs in south Delhi have taken over the maintenance of parks from the local civic body on public-private partnership basis. They irrigate the parks from borewells installed by the municipality.
As per the order, supply of water was supposed to be done through tankers (as a short-term measure) in parks within five-kilometre radius of the sewer treatment plant and later through supply lines.
“But the process of supplying water through tankers is not feasible as there are limited tankers with corporations and supplying water through pipelines is a long-term project. Also, even after sealing of borewells, no concrete relief was provided by South Delhi Municipal Corporation or Delhi Jal Board. Therefore, we raised concerns with the civic body, which had filed a petition in NGT some time back,” said Vani Aggrawal, general secretary of New RWA, Chattarpur Enclave Phase-II.
The green court had disposed of the petition on April 2 while directing chief secretary to resolve the dispute between SDMC and DJB over supply of water through tankers.
“We requested the LG to call a joint meeting with different agencies to find an immediate solution to this problem. We also suggested a rainwater harvesting system, implementation of a dual network of pipes for sewage and non-sewage water for their reuse after treatment and making reservoirs for storage purpose,” said GL Verma, president of Ekta Apartments RWA in Saket.