7-member panel set up to monitor restoration of Delhi’s water bodies


Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Wetland Authority of the Delhi government has set up a seven-member technical committee, which will approve restoration plans and monitor efforts thereafter being undertaken by the different land-owning agencies to revitalise water bodies in the city.

The agency has also formed a grievance committee, for which an order was issued last week, as per the Wetlands (Conservation and management) rules to look into complaints lodged by the general public and make recommendations for their redressal.  

K S Jayachandran, member secretary of the Wetland Authority of Delhi, said besides supervising restoration efforts, the committee would review brief documents and plans for the renewal of the water bodies so that they could be notified and conserved. “We are continuously forcing the city’s land-owning agencies to take action and scientific plans for the restoration of water bodies.

We also need to review those plans by the concerned agencies because they are inexperienced and technically incompetent,” said Jayachandran, who is also special secretary of the environment and forests department. There are over 1,000 water bodies in the national capital under the jurisdiction of 20 different land-owning agencies such as the Delhi Development Authority, Public Work Department, and Central Public Work Department.

“After the review, approval will be accorded to the action plan and brief documents prepared by the agencies. All the restoration efforts by the agency will be monitored. Based on the brief documents and scientific or ecological plans, we will prioritise the wetland which will be notified by the government. As it will become a legal body, nobody will be able to encroach on it,” said Jayachandran.

Madhu Verma, chief economist at World Resources Institute in Delhi, has been appointed as the chairperson of the technical committee. Prof J K Garg, senior fellow (TERI University), Suresh Rohilla, senior director (Centre for Science and Environment), Man Singh, project director at Water Technology Centre, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Ritesh Kumar, director, Wetlands International South Asia and Pranay Lal of PM-STIAC are its members.

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