Revival work has been at a standstill for a long time despite several efforts by a National Green Tribunal committee and residents giving recommendations.
Once an attraction of the area, the important and adored Naini Lake in Model Town is eyeing revival. The lake has been degrading over a long period of time due to negligence of the authorities and lack of maintenance. Also, Naini Lake has been at the centre of a tussle between different arms of the government as well as two groups of residents. A small step towards the revival of the lake was taken as Union Minister and area MP Harsh Vardhan introduced a ‘floating ecosystem’ in the dying lake on Sunday.
The revival of the lake was first proposed in the year 2015. Though, despite several efforts and recommendations by the residents of the area and a National Green Tribunal committee, the revival work has been at a standstill for a long time.
A disagreement between the North Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi government’s tourism department resulted in the discontinuation of boating in the lake. Regarding this matter, the Lake Area Residents Association (LARA) had reached out to the MP of the area Harsh Vardhan with a demand to take required steps towards the cleaning of the lake and re-starting the boating.
Earlier, an acknowledged ecologist, C R Babu, had formulated a revival plan for the Naini Lake. The first step that C R Babu suggested was desilting.
A statement issued by the area MP’s office said the residents of concerned area were wary of the move. “But the residents of the area were quite apprehensive about desilting the lake, which C R Babu suggested as a starting point. The residents felt this process would increase seepage of water in their houses,” the statement from Vardhan’s office read.
The floating ecosystem was designed by scientists at the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). The floating ecosystem will be mounted on a thick sheet of thermocol and allowed to float on the lake.
While the residents of the area protected, some of them questioned the decision to reject Babu’s as well as the NGT committee’s recommendations.
According to a report published in IE, Juhi Chaudhary, a resident of the same area, said, “This is nothing but hogwash. They are putting thermocol in the Lake, which itself is a pollutant. What is being done right now is just cosmetic work. Such things are not going to help in cleaning the lake.”
Among all the demands made by LARA, one primary demand was to restart boating at the lake. The LARA members say that restarting the boating services will bring more people to the lake and thus ensure a closer eye on cleanliness.