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Four years after it was conceived, the Shahdara Lake rejuvenation project seems to have reached a dead end. The wetland had dried up several years ago. Of late, it has turned into a dump-yard and home to stray animals.Besides, open defecation is rampant at the project site.
In 2013, the east corporation had proposed to redevelop the waterbody and beautify the area in order to attract tourists. However, the civic body stopped work midway due to its financial woes.
The lake was to be redeveloped in three phases. In the first phase, a sewage treatment plant was to be set up.Then, the lake would be recharged with treated water and finally , a green cover would be created in the surrounding area.
While the sewage treatment plant is ready , but it's not fully functional. The corporation has not released funds for the project, workers claim. Here, the waste water is treated using phytorid met hod, a chemical-free procedure. It involves allowing the sewage water to pass through over 20 chambers.
The 30-acre site includes the lake, which is spread over 16 acres. Apart from boating facility , the Rs 22-crore project includes an amphitheatre, a food court, a garden, a banquet hall, a mini golf course, walkways and recreational space. “According to the plan, around 3 million litres of sewage water will be treated every day before being relea sed into the lake. Once developed, the project will help EDMC boost its revenue.
The sewage treatment plant is ready, but the rest of the work has not started due to the fund crunch. As a result, the site has turned into a dumping site,“ said an official. The corporation claims that the project was originally sanctioned by Trans-Yamuna Area Development Board under the Delhi government but the board was dissolved and the project got stalled midway . Now, the east civic body has submitted a proposal to the central government, seeking funds to complete the project.
“The first phase has been completed and we have submitted a proposal to the central government, seeking a grant of Rs 22 crore to complete the project. Right now, we are not in a position to start work because of our financial problem,“ said Jitender Chaudhary , standing committee chairman, EDMC.