Mission Paani: Delhi govt's Yamuna water conservation project appears feasible, but needs nod of NGT, farmers

In a bid to make the national capital self-sufficient of its water resources, the Delhi government has announced the ambitious Yamuna floodplain natural water storage project.

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party government aims to encourage rainwater harvesting by digging small ponds. On paper, the plan appears feasible. The newly-dug ponds will store water from an overflowing Yamuna during monsoon. The Kejriwal administration hopes that the exercise would lead to an exponential increase of Delhi’s water table.

Union jal shakti minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has pulled out all stops to ensure that the Centre provides quick approval to the Delhi government for its Yamuna project.

Now, plans are afoot to conserve water in the 22-kilometre Yamuna floodplain stretch — starting from Palla, where the river enters Delhi, to the other end in Wazirabad — to tide over the looming water crisis.

 Mission Paani: Delhi govts Yamuna water conservation project appears feasible, but needs nod of NGT, farmers

Though the Delhi government is enthused over its ‘game-changer’ move, the authorities still need to get requisite approval from the National Green Tribunal and also farmers’ permission to take their land on lease.

The Delhi government plans to pay an annual rent of Rs 77,000 for an acre of agricultural land to farmers. But will these farmers, who have been living off their land for years, agree to give up their rights for an annual rent?

A majority of farmers is resenting the government move as they feel that their livelihood is under threat. The Delhi government needs to allay the apprehension of these panic-stricken farmers before its ambitious plan sees the light of the day.

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Updated Date: Jul 13, 2019 08:25:27 IST