City of Lakes project: DJB plans to rejuvenate 50 water bodies by end of the year

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August 09, 2021 2:17 PM

Among the other projects, a drain construction is also underway alongside the Bhalswa Lake to divert wastewater into an STP.

Delhi Jal Board, Delhi Jal Board projectLaunched in 2018, this ‘city of lakes’ project built to augment water supply by recharging ground water and recycling treated wastewater to meet the city's water demand of 1,140 million gallons (MGD) per day (Photo: IE)

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) project with the aim to revive lakes in the city is inching closer to its goal to rejuvenate around 50 water bodies in the city by the end of the year. Around 17 water bodies out of 50 are nearly finished.

Talking about Paschim Vihar, a Rs 10 crore project is under way to lay a 4-km long pipeline from the treatment plant at Keshavpuram to replenish the lake with treated water. Among the other projects, a drain construction is also underway alongside the Bhalswa Lake to divert wastewater into an STP. The project got approval just recently. Work on the Roshanara Lake is most likely to begin in the next 30 days. And pipelines are being laid at the 50-acre Tikri Khurd lake in North Delhi from the STP at Narela to recharge the lake.

Rejuvenation of the city lakes means a small water treatment system connected to the water body, or pipelines are taken from an existing sewage treatment plant (STP) near the water body, to ensure a perennial source of treated water that is fit for groundwater recharge. As per the DJB, ponds of around 1 to 1.5 acres are ‘water bodies’ and larger than that are lakes. To ensure the source for water, lakes are being connected to existing treatment plants.

There are some water bodies on the list that are awaiting power connections for adjoining treatment systems. This system, which is a ‘natural’ STP in most cases, will draw wastewater from nearby areas, treat it, and feed it into the water body. A natural STP is a sedimentation tank that removes water pollutants. Floating rafters are used in some cases to treat the water.

Launched in 2018, this ‘city of lakes’ project built to augment water supply by recharging ground water and recycling treated wastewater to meet the city’s water demand of 1,140 million gallons (MGD) per day. The current supply is 940 MGD falls and is short enough to meet the water demand by 200 MGD. Setting up new groundwater recharge reservoirs and rejuvenating existing lakes was the main purpose of the project.
The DJB has allocated an amount of Rs 376 crore for 155 water bodies, and around Rs 200 crore for another 90 water bodies, officials associated with the project stated.

Lakes, including the ones at Rohini and Timarpur, have separate allocations of around Rs 64 crore each and around Rs 10 crore has been allocated for the Bhalswa Lake.
Delhi has over a 1,000 water bodies but only about 600 of these can be “revived” since the remaining have been built over or turned into parks. Of the 600, around 255 water bodies have been included under Phase I of the project.

Currently, around 500 MGD of wastewater is being treated at 35 of the DJB’s STPs in the city. This is expected to go around 630 MGD by the end of the year with the small treatment plants that are being installed alongside water bodies.

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