Delhi govt is developing lakes alongside the Rohini STP to treat water & increase groundwater levels: Kejriwal

NEW DELHI: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is personally working upon providing 24×7 water supply to every household of Delhi. In this vein, he conducted an on-ground inspection of two lakes being developed around the Rohini STP today. The Chief Minister was accompanied by Delhi Jal Board Vice Chairman Shri Saurabh Bhardwaj and senior officials on the visit to the project touted to augment Delhi’s water production capacity.

The CM stated, “Besides cleaning the Yamuna, we’re constantly increasing our production capacity by recharging groundwater to supply water 24×7 to every Delhiite. We’re developing several lakes alongside the Rohini STP; we aim to treat water and repurpose water and increase groundwater levels. We’re working on a unique mix of natural and scientific methods to prevent sewage from falling into the Yamuna.”

“Our experiments have proven to be highly successful; for the first time in 15-20 years Delhi’s water production levels have increased from 930 MGD to 990 MGD. Delhi gets water from neighbouring states as per the allotment made in the 90s by the Supreme Court; the amount hasn’t been increased since then. Delhi’s population was less than one crore in 90s; it has increased to 2.5 crores now. We’re trying to augment Delhi’s water production capacity both by implementing measures internally and asking the Centre to increase Delhi’s share of water coming from neighbouring states. We’ll supply treated water from Rohini STP to nearby lakes; this will increase groundwater levels which can later be put to use via tube wells,” he added.

CM Arvind Kejriwal said, “As we all know that the world collectively faces scarcity of water – no matter which corner you go to. Delhi, being our national capital, must have an adequate supply of water for the people living here. Total water production and availability in Delhi had stagnated at around 930 mgd (million gallons per day) for the past 25 to 30 years.

“This number needs a dire improvement given the rise of population over the years. The current availability is the same as what it used to be in the 1990s, when the population of Delhi was less than one crore. Today, there are almost 2.5 crore people in the National Capital now. Delhi does have any of its own water sources, and receives all its water from neighbouring states. The allocation of water supply for Delhi was decided by the Supreme Court in the 90s, and has remained the same since,” he said..

“There has been no increase in this allocation despite the population having jumped to 2.5 times from what it used to be back then. Hence, we are running two parallel efforts to expand the production and availability of water for Delhi residents. On one hand, we are speaking to the Centre and state governments to increase the amount of water that they supply to Delhi, as it is the national capital which is in dire need of more water. At the time, we are making efforts at our own level to implement the most advanced water management systems in order to increase water supply throughout Delhi using internal sources. Therefore, efforts on both these fronts are being made by our government,” he said.

He continued, “As I had mentioned before, the production of water in Delhi was limited to 930 mgd earlier. However, in the past 2-3 years, the efforts that our government has made towards increasing this number through internal sources, has borne positive results. Internal sources primarily include two aspects – First is the use of STPs (Sewage Treatment Plants), which treat and clean wastewater throughout Delhi, for recycling of water to make it potable. Second is the mechanism to source groundwater in order to extract clean water for Delhi residents. It brings me immense joy to say that these efforts of ours have resulted in the 930 mgd water production to increase to 990 mgd today in the last year or so. We have raised this number by 60 mgd through internal sources only, and hence water production which was stagnant for the past few decades has finally seen a boost.”

“We are hopeful that this number will only increase going further, because now that we have seen the successful results of our efforts once, we expect that this process will now be accelerated in future,” he added.

He added, “We have inspected the Rohini STP, which treats 15 mgd of wastewater everyday. After treatment, the water would earlier be disseminated into the Yamuna; it was not utilised further. In technical terms, the water post treatment from this STP had a purity of 25:30 BOD:TSS, while it needs to be below 3:3 for the water to be potable. Hence, there was ample scope of improvement in terms of quality of water, which was previously wasted by being tossed into the Yamuna.”

“We have now decided to clean it even more, and improve its purity from the 25:30 standards, after which we will add it to the lake which is being constructed here in Rohini. Going forward, all 15 mgd of water will be brought up to the 3:3 mark through various new mechanisms and then sent into the lake post treatment. Adding clean water to these lakes will revive the groundwater cycle in these places,” he said.

This would increase the groundwater levels, after which we will install tubewells at several places for extraction of water to be used for drinking. By February 2023, this mechanism will be in place and operational. Based on the Rohini STP and lake, we will develop similar models across Delhi in order to make use of wastewater to the fullest, and increase the supply of potable drinking water for Delhi residents, he said.

“We visited the Coronation WWTP the day before, from where we are directing 70 mgd water to Palla, which will be flown into the Yamuna and reach the Wazirabad STP for further treatment; this water will be then supplied across Delhi through various pipelines. Along with our relentless efforts to boost water sourcing and production from within Delhi, we will continue to engage in talks with other states to increase their allotted water supply,” he said.

The CM further tweeted, “Visited the Rohini Lake today. We’re developing several lakes alongside the Rohini STP. We aim to treat water and repurpose water and increase groundwater levels. We’re working on a unique mix of natural and scientific methods to prevent sewage from falling into the Yamuna.”

The objective of this project is to improve ground water levels by constructing a new water body in the vacant land inside the premises of WWTP at Sector 25 Rohini by utilising the treated effluent of WWTP into the water body after tertiary treatment in the polishing units up to permissible standards.

The project will further provide a place of public attraction by landscaping surrounding the water body in an area of about 14.5 acres.

The treated effluent is proposed to be polished using suitable treatment before discharging into the water-body where further polishing will be done using in-situ arrangements. 8 units comprising 6 Polishing ponds and 2 Recharging lakes with ultimate BOD and TSS less than 3/3 at outlet of water body are being developed at the site.

The Kejriwal Government is working extensively to realise the dream of making Delhi a “City of Lakes.” The City of Lakes project has two focus areas: the lakes and other water bodies. In the first phase of development, 250 water bodies and 23 lakes will be taken up by the government.

The purpose of the project is to create multiple water reservoirs to arrest urban flooding and avoid choked drains. The government is toiling to enhance the aesthetic value of the landscape through the natural revivalism of water bodies and by restoring the flora and fauna around them.

The mega Rohini Lake protec project is one of the 23 lakes to be revived in the capital city and it has also been designated as a key project by the Kejriwal Government. Rejuvenation of lakes involves three components: construction of treatment plants, lakes and landscaping.

The entire project is broadly based on sewage water remediation and lake development. The Rohini Lake, along with the Rohini STP, is situated in a complex of 100 acres of land where the sewage treatment plant occupies 20 acres while lakes and green areas are being developed on 80 acres.

The wastewater will be treated in the STP with a capacity of 15 MGD and the treated effluent will be further polished using suitable treatment technologies, after which it will be released into the lake. Upon completion of the Rohini Lake development project, the underground aquifers will improve, benefiting the ecological growth in the region.

This Rohini Lake will be constructed on 80 acres of land and will be used for a variety of environmentally friendly purposes as a landscaped tourist spot that can act as a source of recreation for visitors.

State-of-the-art landscaping of the lake will be done over an area of about 80 acres. The lake will also have a primary pedestrian, a secondary pedestrian and a jungle trail with a 4.5-meter pathway that will run through the middle of the lake. Numerous trees and plants will be part of the project, not just to give it a complete aesthetic look but also to allow the visitors to get close to nature. It will also be accompanied by world-class facilities like parking spaces, cafeteria, children’s park, entrance plaza, grand stepped plaza, etc.

Along with this, a stepped water garden, water alcoves, and an outdoor museum that will narrate the story of water harvesting in India will also be set up at the lake site.The Rohini Lake avenues could be utilised by people for picnic gatherings, outings, morning and evening walks, physical exercises, sports, sight-seeing and leisure.

The lake will not only act as a one-stop recreational spot for the residents of Delhi but will also help recharge the underground water table, which is at present at an alarming stage. The lake will also serve as a sink for carbon storage and provide an important habitat for numerous species of plants and animals. It will restore ecological balance and bring back bird activities. The Rohini Lake will also help moderate the temperature during summer peaks and provide much-needed relief to the life around it.

The treated effluent from the Rohini STP, after being polished by the use of various in-situ treatments, will be discharged into the lake. The 80-acre Rohini Lake comprises an anoxic pond that will have mixers with natural wetland, an aeration lake will follow an anoxic lake that will have plant growth, a buffer water body that naturally removes nutrients from the rainwater runoff, and a recharge lake to increase the water table where the water levels have gone down drastically in the past. There will also be a fish pond, along with spaces for aquatic flora and fauna, and a drinking water lake with a solar panel on the roof. The project will help more wastewater to be reused and more green cover to be added, as well as improve the local environment.

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