Work to restore the Neela Hauz lake near Vasant Kunj in Delhi has finally started. Delhi’s public works department (PWD) has started removing the construction debris it had dumped in the lake while building a six-lane bridge over it. Vasant Kunj residents had been protesting dumping of debris in the centuries old lake for the past two years. Residents said it was a pleasant sight now to see lines of trucks carrying away debris from the 46,415 sq m lake. An executive engineer of PWD said almost half the lake has been cleaned and the remaining work would be completed in a month.
A senior planning official of Delhi Development Authority said the concept plan for a biodiversity park around Neela Hauz has been placed before the lieutenant governor; the lake would be integrated with the Sanjay Van. The restoration of old lakes like Neela Hauz would help groundwater recharge in the area that has dropped by 10 to 20 metres since 1999, as per the Centre’s groundwater report of 2009. Vasant Kunj sits on rocky soil with a thick layer of clay at the top which does not allow water to percolate. Lakes play a vital role in such areas, said geologists.
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