Following the Lt. Governor’s visit along the Najafgarh drain on Saturday last, a meeting headed by LG and CM along with Dy. CM, Chief Secretary and other Heads of concerned Departments was held yesterday to decide upon the further course of action.
The Lt. Governor and the Chief Minister agreed that to turn the much maligned Najafgarh drain into an asset, planning aimed at long term solutions that also addressed the issue of recurrent expenditure and efforts needed to be undertaken.
Accordingly, the Lt. Governor reiterated that for the drain to be developed into an eco-tourism destination and a navigable water-way where activities like boat rides, water sport, and commuting could take place, it needed to have a depth of at least 4 meters. This, the Chief Minister underlined, could be achieved by undertaking a comprehensive de-silting and dredging exercise in a time-bound manner.
The Lt. Governor and Chief Minister directed officials to explore within a couple of days the possibility of engaging an expert agency to break and pulverize the silt settled in the Najafgarh drain so as to achieve the dual purpose of loosened silt getting carried by normal water flow as also achieve bed depth. In addition to this, it was directed that meshes of different density be used at graded distances on different small drains that empty into the Najafgarh drain so as to intercept the flow of solid waste and heavy silt directly into the drain. These steps would ensure that the Najafgarh and its supplementary drains achieve ideal depth to conserve water and serve as a moving reservoir for storm drain and rain water from the catchment areas, apart from helping raise the ground water level.
With regards to the issue of large swathes of Hyacinth obstructing the flow of water in the drain, it was decided to explore the possibility of using boats fitted with cutters that shred the Hyacinth on-stream. This would ensure that it flows away with the water and dissolve, rather than using the prevailing practice of deploying JCB machines to remove and dump them on the embankments, which eventually flows back into the drain.
It was also decided to parallely start work on plantation of flowering and aesthetically appealing trees and so as to capitalize on the benefits of the forthcoming rainy season.
Officers present included ACS (Environment & Forest) and Secretary, I&FC. They were directed to submit a feasibility/action plan within two days.