Delhi Government Proposes Massive Water Project for Yamuna Floodplain

The Delhi government on Thursday proposed the building of water reservoirs between Wazirabad and Palla. The water reservoirs, as explained by Manish Sisodia (Deputy Chief Minister), will capture water overflows from the Yamuna during monsoons. This massive project is expected to change the situation of Delhi's water supply completely.

The project got approval within 45 days from authorities, including the NGT monitoring committee. This massive scheme includes a Rs 77,000 per acre remuneration to farmers who agree tolease their land for it.

The reservoirs will help the government in Delhi meet the increasing water demand of the capital.Delhi expects the project to cover over 1,000 acres of area. The ambitious scheme will create new lakes on the Yamuna floodplains and include numerous side projects. Delhi is currently sourcing its water supply from the Yamuna, Ganga, and groundwater.

The project is one of the similar initiatives to combat water scarcity in the capital. Sisodia announced the allocation of Rs 2,370 crore to the Delhi Jal Board for projects in his budget speech.Including a 20 KL free lifeline water subsidy scheme with a Rs 467 crore allocation.

His budgetsubmission also included Rs 215 crore for implementing the 2019-2020 schemes of the Irrigation and Flood control Department. The money will be used to improve water sustainability and groundwater level while the Yamuna reservoirs are being built. The department will also use it to rejuvenate abandoned canals and irrigation minors.

Sisodia’s budget speech hammered on making Delhi self-reliant for water with his numerous innovative schemes.

Arvind Kejriwal (Delhi Chief Minister) later explained why this scheme is a necessity for Delhi. According to him, the project will create storage for thesix-lakh cusec of water that Delhi and

Haryana release annually.It will also end the regular water disputes of 125-150 cusec water between Delhi and Haryana.

He further explained that the entire project would use no cement, nor will it interrupt Yamuna's regular flow.

Sisodia also outlaid two other initiativesto support the water reservoir project. The preservation or rejuvenation and maintenance of water bodies will cost Delhi Rs 25 crore. Meanwhile, Delhi will allocate Rs 100 crore torejuvenating the drains.

Consultants are already bidding for these projects, with some having already been allocated. Sisodia indicated that DJB will pilot the scheme and will create five new waterbodies and rejuvenate 159 existing ones. DJB will start the pilot scheme in 2019-202 with a budget of Rs 75 crore. The company will handle the cleaning and management of sludge, solid wastes, and sewage, among others.

Statistics indicate that Delhi’s current 900 MGD water falls short of a 1,125 MGD total requirement. With rising water demands over the years, Sisodia plans to increase the city’s supply capacity above the current demand.

Sisodia noted that Delhi has been supplying pipeline water to 406 unauthorized colonies for over four years now. He revealed the government’s replacement of 127km old water pipelines in 2018-2019.

On prompting, the deputy chief minister elaborated the government’s plan by explaining its various components. The first part of the scheme is to construct underground reservoirs for Yamuna floodwaters and excess rainwater.Then, different parts of Delhi will store the excess rain waters to increase the groundwater level as the second component.Finally, it is treating Delhi's sewage water at separate locations for storage in local ponds.

Sisodia noted the rejuvenation of Shahdara, Najafgarh supplementary, and associated link drains as another complementary project. Delhi also plans to augment the entire process with a new 50 MGD water treatment plant at Dwarka. The Wazirabad pond will take in treated water from the coronation pillar to serve as raw water for the plant.

Wazirabad is also the construction site of a second water treatment plant at Rs 2,200 crore.These proposed plants will increase Delhi’s water supply by an additional366 MGD water. The Dwarka plant will supply 236 MGD water, and the Wazirabad plant will provide 120 MGD water.

According to him, the interceptor sewer for cleaning the Yamuna is already 92 percent complete. Despite its incomplete state, the interceptor has allegedly already trapped 110 MGD water, which is currently undergoing sewage treatment.

Still included in this massive project is a scheme to increase the lifespan of sewer lines by over 50 years. It will supposedly be done by using trenchless technology to rehabilitate over 167kms peripheral sewer lines. The 20 percent complete project will significantly increase the capacity of sewer lines.

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