DJB's project to give Yamuna a new lease of life

The Yamuna might soon get a new lease of life with Delhi Jal Board’s ambitious riverfront development project.

The project includes landscaping and beautification of the area by developing cycle tracks and footpaths, and treating the water which flows into Yamuna.

DJB has identified a 8.2 kilometre stretch from Mukarba chowk to Wazirabad Road for its first phase. Water from Supplementary drain flows through this stretch which ends just before it meets Najafgarh drain, a senior DJB official said.

A conceptual plan in this regard has been submitted to the Union Ministry of Water Resources and a Detailed Project Report is being prepared to know the funds the board will require to implement it.

Besides creating green patches and a flourishing ecosystem, the report also lays down various methods of water treatment which include online treatment of sewage (wetland system), through planting floating islands, and an oxidation pond.

Floating islands, made of fibres, are planted like a garden and launched onto a waterway. They remove pollutants such as ammonia, nitrates, phosphates, heavy metals and sequester carbon and other greenhouse gases. Similarly, an oxidation pond is a man-made water body in which waste is consumed by bacteria.

According to DJB officials, it is a desolate stretch and open defecation and dumping of garbage is currently rampant .

“The idea behind this is to bring people closer to water bodies. We have to redevelop this space in such a way that people can come there to sit and enjoy. Once people start coming here for jogging, cycling, or just for sitting, activities like garbage dumping along the banks of Yamuna will stop,” the official said.

 “There has to be a holistic plan. We have to focus on place-making through environmental interventions to bring people closer to water bodies and feel the ownership”

“For example Najafgarh drain was a rivulet and the flow of contaminated water and dumping near it is responsible for its present form. We have to make these areas attractive for people to come and enjoy,” he added.

The board is also in talks with the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to develop the area around Bhalswa Lake in a similar manner.

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