Delhi Minister raises alarm over depleting city water table

New Delhi, Feb 5 : Delhi Irrigation and Water Minister Satyendar Jain has raised concerns about the city’s depleting water table, and announced plans to hire experts to improve the situation.

“DJB has been instructed to use all the defunct tube wells for groundwater recharge purposes. In addition to this, groundwater experts will be hired in DJB for handholding to improve groundwater levels,” Jain, who is also Chairman of Delhi water body said in a board meeting on Thursday.

The Minister said that due to over exploitation of groundwater, the water table has alarmingly gone down in Delhi. “It is the need of the day to extensively use the rainwater to recharge the groundwater through natural and artificial water bodies and rainwater harvesting structures,” he added.

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The National Green Tribunal (NGT) had earlier asked the Delhi government, Central Ground Water Authority Delhi and the DJB to clean, maintain and restore all water bodies. Replying to this, Jain said, “The process is in exercise. Direction has been issued for the rejuvenation of the Tihar lake in Tihar Village. DJB has laid sewerage systems in 561 unauthorised out of 1799 colonies and the work is in progress in 593 colonies,” Jain said.

Jain further added that the Tihar Lake project which is worth Rs 25 crore will be completed by next year. The lake will be used for groundwater recharge and will be made into a center of tourist attraction.

The minister also said the response of the people in taking sewer connections (in unauthorised colonies) has not been quite good, resulting in sewer flowing into drains and finally into the river Yamuna. He said the reasons for the people not coming forward for taking sewer connections were mainly due to development charges at Rs 469 per square meters, infrastructure charges in case of plot size more than 200 square meters and due to lack of approval from multiple agencies.

Jain claimed saying, “Consumers applying for new sewer connections in the city will not be charged for road restoration and installation charges. DJB will provide them with the sewer connection at its own cost. DJB has also approved notification of these colonies which means consumers can also avail sewer connection outside the policy.”

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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