#13
Augmenting Water Resources
Our government will preserve and replenish local and decentralized water resources, will initiate schemes for rainwater harvesting, recharge of wells, watershed development and soil-water conservation. AAP will revive Delhi’s water bodies like lakes, ponds and baolis, among others, by rainwater recharging and maintaining them in partnership with Mohalla Sabhas.
Project Updates

A meeting to give a final shape to the decision will be held between Water Minister Kapil Mishra and senior officials of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) on Monday. The capital’s waterbodies, lakes, ponds, and stepwells are dying a slow death with problems like encroachments and sewage plaguing them. The Delhi government had in June set up a high-level committee to look into the matters related to waterbodies, under the chairmanship of Public and Works Department (PWD) Minister Satyendar Jain. The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has also proposed taking over the waterbodies from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for their revival. “We have sent a list of ten such bodies to the government and on Monday will zero upon the idea of taking over these waterbodies,” said Keshav Chandra, DJB CEO. The CEO said that DJB’s main focus would be to revive them as soon as possible so that these could be benefited from the monsoon and rainwater could be harvested. The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in June had ordered the Delhi government to revive waterbodies in Dwarka sub-city before the onset of monsoon after a plea alleged that they were in a dilapidated condition. “In this list of ten, there are at least two or three from Dwarka. The Public Works Department (PWD) is already working in this connection in the area,” he said. According to Delhi government’s records, there are 971 identified waterbodies in the capital, but the figure could well be above 1,000 as some are non-traceable, according to officials. Out of the 971, only 250 are those which still have water and can come under the ‘clean’ category. Over 300 waterbodies are such which have completely dried up and 100 have been taken over by encroachments like buildings, parks and slums, leaving no scope of revival. Moreover, around 150 water bodies are partially encroached which will be taken up for revival. In around 100 waterbodies, mostly in villages, sewage flows unmonitored. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today told Water Minister Kapil Mishra to prepare a blueprint to revive all water bodies in order to solve the problem of water shortage in the national capital. The move comes after noted historian Sohail Hussain suggested the government to revive all baolis in Delhi. During the launch of Delhi Assembly calendar for the new year, whose theme is 'baoli', Hussain said every village in the national capital has water body and if the government revives those, there will be no water shortage till 2025. On Hussain's suggestion, Kejriwal told Mishra to sit with experts and prepare a blueprint to revive all water bodies. Informing that revival of water bodies is one of the main agendas of the AAP government, the Chief Minister said, "I request Kapil Mishra to work on this and sit with experts next week to prepare a blueprint." Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel proposed that every MLA should form a team and inspect baolis in their constituency. Hussain also suggested the government to check all signboards installed by the Public Works Department (PWD) as "incorrect" Urdu is written on many of those. Not all baolis of the city are as famous as the agrasen ki baoli that Aamir Khan took shelter in for the film PK. Several baolis of the city are lying derelict and languishing without any upkeep. At a calender event launch in the city, CM Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday said that the government would work towards reviving the baolis. He has asked water minister Kapil Mishra to draft a blueprint for the restoration of ancient step-wells in a week’s time. The government’s calendar for 2017 celebrates the history of baolis in Delhi. As per the Archeological Survey of India, there are 16 baolis in the national capital, most of them are in a very poor state. Stressing the need to restore baolis, Delhi Assembly speaker Ram Niwas Goel said it is important to begin water conservation and rainwater harvesting. He urged MLAs to build teams for the conservation of underground step-wells in their areas. Mr Goel said the coming year would be dedicated to the conservation of the ancient water bodies. Historian Sohail Hashmi said the city receives 30 mm rainfall every year. Saying that water conservation cannot only be a matter of heritage, he said if all the baolis are properly restored, Delhi will not have to rely on other states for its water needs. According to conservationists, there are several factors hindering the restoration and upkeep of the baolis. The concrete surfaces that have come up around baolis make it difficult for rainwater to seep in. Another conservation challenge is that the local communities living near the historic baolis are not sensitised to their history.

Over 100 water bodies in rural areas are being taken over for cleaning, improvement, and ground water recharge.

To supplement water supply, use of treated effluent for non-drinking purposes i.e. irrigation, horticulture, flushing and cooling etc. is being encouraged. New plan scheme has been prepared to create trunk network for utilizing treated effluent of 36 STPs.

1. Rainwater Harvesting made a key part of Water Policy. 2. RWH scheme to be extended till June 2016. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today emphasised the urgent need for rainwater harvesting in Delhi to reduce the dependency on neighbouring states for its water needs. Inaugurating a rainwater harvesting workshop organised by Delhi Jal Board and Delhi Dialogue Commission, Mr Kejriwal expressed confidence that the event will come up with a "concrete workable policy document" to implement rainwater harvesting in an effective way. Stressing the need to implement rainwater harvesting in a speedy manner to prevent water-logging, Delhi Water Minister and chairperson of Delhi Jal Board (DJB) Kapil Mishra said, "The DJB is also looking at wider publicity for creating public awareness about rainwater harvesting programmes." "The present regulation on rainwater harvesting needs to be simplified and made easier for the citizens of Delhi to adopt," said Ashish Khetan, Vice Chairman of Delhi Dialogue Commission. It was decided at the workshop that rainwater harvesting required two-pronged approach at micro and macro levels -- a combination of government push by new regulation, rules, enforcement and pull created by volunteers and citizens through 'Jal Swaraj' initiatives at local level, he said. It was also suggested that 'Jal Swaraj' initiative can be orchestrated by an Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) or mohalla committees, he said. The workshop was also attended by representatives from Resident Welfare Association (RWAs), NGOs, consumer organisations and professional water organisations.

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