Noida authority and residents join hands to clean six wetlands, ponds

Noida : 23 June, 2019(Hindustan Times)

NOIDA: Gearing up for the monsoon by conserving water resources, the Noida authority Saturday got residents together to clean and restore ponds and wetlands in Gautam Budh Nagar.

The authority, so far, has cleaned a total of six wetlands and ponds, with Saturday seeing several residents and Noida authority officials cleaning up a neglected 12-acre wetland in Sector 91, a 6,000 sq metre wetland in Sector 85 and a large artificial pond in Gejha village near Sector 93.

Officials said the six wetlands were being used illegally as dhalao or garbage dumping points.

The initiative by the authority aims at building and cleaning small ponds for storing rainwater, constructing storage tanks, creating soak pits near households for reuse for domestic, agriculture and groundwater recharge.

“Water conservation by rejuvenating wetlands and ponds is a necessity and we are taking the help of the public, by encouraging them to volunteer for the rejuvenation, plantation and cleaning work. We can say that this is so far the best water conservation initiative, at such a large scale, across Delhi and NCR,” Rajiv Tyagi, general manager, Noida authority, said. Tyagi himself was one of the volunteers who cleaned up the 12 acre wetland in Sector 91.

He added that people are being convinced of the importance of water conservation through awareness campaigns, nukkad nataks (street plays), gram sabhas, and public meetings and school-level sensitisation.

“The initiative will soon see wall paintings in public places with water conservation as the theme to increase public awareness,” Tyagi said.

In order to rejuvenate the 12-acre wetland in Sector 91 and the 6,000 sq mtere wetland in Sector 85, Noida authority and volunteers removed debris and solid waste from the water body and widened the channels for harvesting and storing rainwater.

Officials said native grass and trees are being planted to ecologically restore the area. At Gejha village, a one-acre village pond along the temple complex, which has now dried up, was cleaned of debris and solid waste.

“Efforts are in place to clean the pond from debris, waste and weeds. The pond is being excavated to increase its depth and maximize its water storage potential,” an official said.

He also added that two wetlands at the upcoming biodiversity parks are also being widened for maximum storage of water.

Meanwhile, a local outreach programme was held at Bakhtawarpur village, Sector 127, and rejuvenation of the village pond there has started.