The National Capital Region’s Draft Regional Plan 2041, which was made public recently, made some suggestions to deal with the use, reuse, and supply of water, as well as the management and use of water bodies in NCR. The Draft Regional Plan 2041 suggests exploring possibilities of bringing seawater to Delhi-NCR through pipelines from the nearest source of seawater, in order to meet non-potable water requirements for large industries as well as commercial establishments. This is so that the fresh water available in the National Capital Region can be reserved for potable purposes. To augment the supply of water, the plan also suggests that 300 tube wells can be built along floodplains in NCR, according to an IE report.
The National Capital Region Planning Board, which operates under the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, has invited objections as well as suggestions on the draft plan by 7 January 2022. The Draft Regional Plan also recommends exploring the possibility of ferry services in the Yamuna river between Wazirabad and Sonia Vihar, along with similar cargo and passenger ferry services across the canal network in NCR, including the Upper Ganga Canal, Agra canal, and Western Yamuna Canal, the report further stated.
Diwan Singh, an environmentalist, who has been associated with water conservation as well as the Yamuna floodplains, was quoted in the report saying that drawing water from the floodplains will have to be carefully done. Some of the parts of the floodplains, beyond a certain depth, are likely to have saline water, Singh informed. He further said encouraging ferry services along the Yamuna river would mean dredging the water body, which can harm the natural ecology. In summer, the Yamuna river would also not have enough water, he added. For wastewater treatment, the Draft Regional Plan proposed setting up decentralised treatment plants that can be locally reused.