National Green Tribunal ordered Delhi and Haryana to set up a proper plan for the protection of Najafgarh Lake. The NGT said, “In view of the fact that there is a large transboundary water body, which falls partly in Delhi and partly in Haryana, it will be appropriate that an environment-management plan is prepared by the state of Haryana and the NCT of Delhi.”
The Principal bench directed the Delhi and Haryana governments to jointly prepare an environmental management plan to notify and protect the Najafgarh Lake, which falls partly in the south-west part of Delhi and in the Neighboring state. According to the tribunal, the Lake is a temporary home for the migratory birds’ species.
The Tribunal also stated that the plan should be prepared within the time period of three months. “The ministry of environment, forests and climate change (MoEF&CC) may steer the proceedings of the said plan with the assistance of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), which may coordinate as a nodal agency,” the order stated.
According to the report submitted the Gurugram district magistrate said as per revenue records there is no other water body situated in the area and the area belongs partly to the government and partly to private owners. “However, factually, there is a large water body in existence and a management plan is under consideration of the state,”
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It was further told by the Haryana Government that according to the brief document submitted to MoEF&CC the water body in question was a lake and that the state was in the process of notifying it as a wetland. The historical records that the Lake gets its water from the Sahibi River, which used to flow from Rajasthan.
Mr. ManojMisra while presenting his views as a convener of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan said the lake is connected to the river Yamuna. And further mentioned “The Lake used to get flooded during monsoons and to drain out the excess water, the Najafgarh drain was created. The lake now carries sewage from Gurugram and other parts of Haryana, which goes into the drain. The lake is spread over two states and has rich biodiversity and needs to be conserved. The court order is a welcome step. Conservation of the water body will preserve the rich habitat as well as help recharge groundwater and become a source of water for Gurugram, which has a low water table.”
In October last year, the Government of Delhi Wetland Authority had written to Haryana for providing a plan for declaring the lake as a wetland. And on the other hand, ordered the extensive survey of the area around its side in southwest Delhi to assess the area covered by its water.
All of this was came in the light when in 2014 the Indian National Trust for Art and Culture Heritage and an NGO filed a plea in the NGT to conserve and protect the Najafgarh lake, after which the court ordered the Delhi and Haryana Government to take necessary steps for the protection and conservation of the Lake.