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Issue 23
, 2010
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Concretisation of drain beds irks environmentalists

Source: The Tribune, New Delhi, Date: , 2010

The Master Plan Delhi 2021 calls for environment assessment before any new project or upgradation of the extant infrastructure. However, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and Delhi Development Authority (DDA) hardly seem to care about it. Currently, the civic body and the land holding agency are covering many drains for converting them into parking lots, green spaces or walkways and in the process the drain beds and sides are being concretised, which is worrying the nature experts. Sunahari Drain, near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, a venue for the CWG, and the Kushak Drain, which flows from Andrew Ganj through Defence Colony and then joins the Brapulla Drain are two such examples. Heading towards multi-utility, the former would see a parking centre for 400 buses over it and the latter would have green space overhead. According to Manoj Misra of NGO Peace Institute Charitable Trust, concretisation of drain beds is actually an invitation to disaster, given the fact that it would restrict the percolation of water through the soil, consequently affecting the groundwater table. However, sources said, both the agencies, responsible for the construction, have discussed the issue with the officials of the governor’s office and they contended that as the drains carry polluted water, which is not fit for consumption, the beds could be concretised. Residing in one of the localities of Defence Colony, director of *Toxic Link*, *Ravi Agrawal *said, “The residents of the area want the drain to be covered, but it cannot be done at the cost of environment. You can’t cover the drain bed and hamper the groundwater recharge capacity. Rather a canopying would help.”