Municipal Corporation of Manesar to rejuvenate ponds in city, say officials

The MCM will use the Nawada pond revival project as a model to rejuvenate other ponds in Manesar, said the officials, adding that a pond in Kasan village is likely to be revived next In a first, the Municipal Corporation of Manesar (MCM) has started the rejuvenation works of a pond in Nawada village near Sector 86, said the officials on Monday.

The MCM will use the Nawada pond revival project as a model to rejuvenate other ponds in Manesar, said the officials, adding that a pond in Kasan village is likely to be revived next.

The civic body will work on recharging the groundwater table, and said that “such a water body will serve as a catchment area, as the city has limited stormwater drains”. Most parts of the city — especially sectors 6, 81, 86, and 87 — are heavily waterlogged during monsoon as it has no outlet for draining rainwater, said the officials.

“The pond in Nawada village in Sector 86 is being revived with an aim to resolve localised waterlogging in the new sectors. The work on reviving the pond started 10 days ago, and at present, it is being cleaned, desilted, and excavated; and the pond water is also being treated,” said Ajay Nirala, executive engineer (horticulture wing) of MCM.

Nirala, who is also overseeing the project, said that boundary walls will be erected around the pond in the next phase to prevent it from being encroached, footpaths will be constructed, and native plants and trees will also be planted to help trap the rainwater.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT), Haryana State Pollution Control Board (HPSCB), and district administration pulled up the MCM in July last year for failing to keep a check on illegal dumping of municipal solid waste by the residents of Nawada village, which affect the groundwater table — the main source of drinking water for the villagers. Besides mixed waste, the pond was also filled with wild vegetation and sewage water.

According to the MCM officials, the pond has been cleared of 6,000 tonnes of mixed legacy waste, which was later dumped at Rewari’s Bawal landfill for treatment. Waste lying in a spot for more than a month is known as legacy waste.

Nirala also said that the pond revival project — under the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, in association with a European aerospace company and a non-governmental organisation (NGO) — will cost around 19 lakh. “The work in the first phase involves cleaning, treating, excavating, and desilting the pond, which is likely to be completed by July — just in time, ahead of the monsoon season this year… This pond will serve as a pilot study for the MCM, based on which other water bodies will also be revived in the future. We are looking for interested multinational corporations (MNCs) and NGOs for reviving a pond in Kasan village as well, and talks with interested parties in this regard are in the initial stage,” said Nirala.

According to the groundwater cell of the district administration, the water table in Gurugram dropped from 33.23m in 2018 to 36.99m in 2021.

“Ponds are an intrinsic part of the urban ecosystem, and are vital in hydrologically extreme conditions such as droughts and floods. They also influence microclimate, while enhancing aesthetic beauty,” said Dr Indu K Murthy, sector head (climate, environment and sustainability team), Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy.

Murthy also said that water bodies in the urban areas provide a range of ecological goods and services. “Pond rejuvenation, therefore, must be the focus of planning as these surface water sources could help augment water supply when managed properly,” she added.

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