Citizens Have Revived 3 Lakes in Dwarka, When Will DDA Step Up?

Citizens Have Revived 3 Lakes in Dwarka, When Will DDA Step Up?

My Report

Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas
Cameraperson: Javesh Juneja, Lavanya Chaturvedi
Video Producer: Aastha Gulati

After having spent the last six years reviving water bodies in Dwarka, I have realised that revival alone is not the difficult part. In all these years, a major hurdle in our efforts has been the government machinery.

My name is Diwan Singh and together with members of the public, we have successfully revived three water bodies in Dwarka sector 20, 23, and 24. However, a job that took us six years, could have easily been completed by the government in one year. Within a year or two, the government can easily revive around 600 lakes in Delhi.

In 2012, we conducted a survey of 50 villages and found 183 non-functioning water bodies and presented the report to the government.

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Unfortunately, our requests for them to do something about the situation went ignored. That’s when we took it upon ourselves to revive the lakes. We worked hard and it all paid-off, as we could see results in a few years.

Yet, there were objections from the government because it is them and not us citizens who own water bodies.

A lot of migratory birds have flown down to these lakes. The aquatic life has improved a lot. There are many birds, too, and this is just the beginning of a long road to environment conservation.

None of this would have possible without the efforts of Dwarka’s residents. As my friend Suraj Bhan points out,

“With the help of villagers, we have managed to revive the lakes. This year, during monsoon, the lake was filled with water. The lake came back to life.”

Therefore, one needs to rethink all rainwater harvesting projects. Lakes are one of the most effective ways for rainwater harvesting. The lake in Sector 23 alone has recharged around 1 crore liters of water.

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Now, it is time for the DDA to step up. The third lake we revived in Dwarka should have been filled till the top during monsoon, but has dried up because the government body has not paid any attention to these lakes.

The quality of these lakes has fallen. The government is not working the way it should. All that we want is for the government to provide some kind of legal protection to the lakes.

The lakes shouldn’t be left unattended. The land beneath these dried lakes is then used for commercial purposes. It’ll be a shame if such beautiful lakes dry up and the land is used for shopping malls and office complexes.

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