The transformation of
Sanjay Lake from a wetland or a breeding ground for water birds into an
artificial polluted lake is a cause of concern for environmentalists as well as
residents of Mayur Vihar Phase –II.
Brijendra Singh, who goes for a morning walk to the lake every day, the abysmal
state of affairs is due to years of neglect by the Delhi Development Authority,
which has been entrusted with the responsibility for the upkeep of the park.
“Two decades ago, the
Sanjay Lake used to be virtually a jungle. Initially, the DDA did a commendable
job by clearing the bushes and wild grass, building pathways for walkers and
joggers along the lake and planting saplings. But over the past decade, the
Authority has frittered away a golden opportunity to preserve the lake.”
“More than the park,
it is the deterioration of the lake into an artificial polluted body that
concerns us,” said Deepak Mehra, a banker who frequently visits the park.
For a passerby the
presence of ducks around the lake creates an erroneous impression that all is
well. But a closer inspection reveals plastic bags and garbage that has been
dumped into the lake by thoughtless people.
Residents want the
DDA to adopt measures for sustainable management of the Sanjay Lake so as to
preserve the wetland habitat and protect birdlife.
In its website, the
DDA has highlighted the Sanjay Lake Park as its achievement by mentioning it as
a “water body attracting migratory birds”.
environmentalist T. K. Roy differs on this point.
“Honestly, the DDA
has not maintained the lake. The wetland has been modified into a concrete
artificial wetland and its aquatic bio-diversity has deteriorated,” said Mr.
Roy to The Hindu .
Mr. Roy said
introduction of boating activity, open bathing, washing clothes and creation of
playground around the lake has disturbed the wildlife habitat.
“During winters, rare
migratory birds visit the wetland but due to environmental degradation around
this lake they hardly stay here for long. Last February, a mixed flock of
winter migratory ducks such as Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail and Coot
were sighted for a day but they disappeared the following day. Birdwatchers and
nature lovers are unhappy by this development, ” he added.
“Earlier, it used to
attract a large number of diverse species, particularly long distant exotic
migratory birds. However, the lake has now unfortunately turned into just an
entertainment park with a degraded wetland habitat,” said a visitor.
Though cricket and
football cannot be played in the park – signboards to this effect have been put
up by the DDA – the rule is openly flouted.
Similarly, entry of
scooters and cycles is forbidden and yet many can be seen contravening these
The DDA has
failed to maintain the lake, say residents