Land owning agencies must ensure prevention of encroachments of water bodies in the city and unique ID numbers should be given to them for identification, a monitoring committee has told the National Green Tribunal.
The committee led by a former high court judge told a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel that the water bodies should be secured by constructing boundary walls and relevant entries in the revenue records.
“The government agencies should on priority start mapping of small water bodies on GPS platform, monitoring the water quality, penalising the defaulters and putting high values on these water bodies and give proper weight-age for their protection. Action shall be taken against the trespassers,” the panel has told the NGT.
“The agencies shall have exclusive dedicated staff to take care of the water bodies. DJB has recently designated Rakesh Sahni as SE (Water Bodies). The monitoring committee shall ensure that there is co-ordination between different agencies for better management of water bodies,” the panel said.
The committee, headed by former high court judge Justice S P Garg, told the tribunal that new water bodies are being taken up for revival from time to time on the basis of information given by activists or newspaper clippings.
“The monitoring committee has visited remote areas/villages to have first hand information about the condition of the water bodies which mostly are lying dry.
“There is awareness among the people now and the monitoring committee is getting several requests to visit the neglected water bodies for their revival. Our attention has been drawn recently towards water bodies at Tihar Jheel (Hari Nagar), Prasad Nagar Lake and Tuglakabad Lake,” it said.
The monitoring committee has already visited two of them and plans to visit the other ones shortly. Necessary steps are being taken to improve the condition of these water bodies, it said.
The panel said that lakes and ponds are victims of ‘Eutrophication’.
Eutrophication is when a water body becomes overly enriched with minerals and nutrients which induce excessive growth of algae.
“Eutrophication results in the prolific growth of aquatic weeds in lakes and ponds that ultimately disturb and kill the ecology of the water body. The emphasis will be upon the concerned agencies to clear the weeds in time,” the panel said.
The committee further said that during field visits it noticed that polythene, plastic bottles and other material was frequently dumped or thrown in the lakes by the visitors.
The panel said the authorities concerned shall be directed to install CCTV camera at prominent places to have vigil upon the polluters. Sign boards or banners prohibiting throwing of waste shall be put up near the lakes warning the polluters of legal action in case of violation.
“At big lakes, security guards can be deployed to prevent littering. MCD and DJB have courts of Special Metropolitan Magistrates for trail of offenses. Prosecution branch of MCD/DJB shall be activated to prosecute individuals who cause littering in the water bodies,” it said.