New Delhi [India], May 23 (ANI): Delhi Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj on Tuesday said that Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena is falsely taking credit for the cleaning of Bhalswa Lake adding that he was not even appointed as LG when the process of cleaning was started.
Saurabh Bhardwaj who is also the chairman of the Delhi Jal Board said that Delhi Development Authority is rejuvenating this lake and also claimed that the work started after his first visit on October 15, 2022.
In this regard, Saurabh Bhardwaj took to Twitter and said, " Respected Delhi LG this rejuvenation work has been undertaken by Arvind Kejriwal-led DJB. The elected Govt of Delhi is working on around 3 dozen water bodies of DDA. Please don't take undue credit.""LG Saab joined as LG in May 2022, here is a work order dated Jan 2022 of Arvind Kejriwal-led DJB for the rejuvenation of the Central Govts DDA drain. Though taking away this huge Cow dung from Bhalaswa Dairy was always the duty of BJP-led MCD, they dumped it in this DDA's lake for years," he further tweeted.
He further stated that Arvind Kejriwal directed DJB to follow up with DDA to rejuvenate the lake.
"DDA is an agency under the Central Government that owns most of the land and lakes in the city. It was observed that most of the lakes under the ownership of DDA or MCD were in a depleted state and could be rejuvenated. Arvind Kejriwal directed DJB to follow up with the land-owning agency so that these lakes/water bodies could be rejuvenated by the Delhi Jal board via funds of Delhi govt," Saurabh Bhardwaj said.
"After a long follow-up, working permission was granted by DDA to DJB to rejuvenate these lakes from its own funds of DJB. It is disheartening to see the LG claiming credit for the work which has been going on for many years much before he joined as the LG of Delhi. Delhi government has been patiently waiting that some day the LG will give due credit for this work to those who deserve it," he added.
He also mentioned that LG is busy doing public relations exercises and it is not expected from his office.
"The office of LG is a sacrosanct office and such PR exercises are not expected from the office of LG. The CM of Delhi had always advocated for restraint even when the LG office has been claiming the credit for most of the works of Delhi Jal Board, Irrigation and Flood Control and the Environment Department of the Delhi Govt," he said.
"It must be pointed out that earlier pictures of the LG claiming credit for the rejuvenation of Sanjay Lake were also not in good taste. The attached NOC provided by DDA dated 17.05.2019 mentions seven lakes where DDA allowed DJB to revive and rejuvenate the lakes. Sanjay Lake is at S.No 4 and Bhalswa Lake is at S.No 5. This makes it amply clear 3 years before joining of LG, this work was planned by Delhi Jal Board, however, due to the onset of Corona during 2020 and 2021, most of the work gained speed in the year 2022," he said. He further mentioned the seven steps taken by the engineers of DJP to clean the lake.
"Step 1 was the cleaning of the existing PWD drain choked with Cow dung and garbage from Bhalswa Dairy, Step 2 was the excavation of garbage and cow dung island from inside the lake using hydraulic excavators, then Step 3 was the construction of an interceptor drain to divert cow dung into the supplementary drain in phase I, else it would pollute the lake and contaminate the groundwater, after that Step 4 was the final diversion of cow dung into the Interceptor chamber of DJB is under process, Step 5 was the removal of water hyacinth and wild vegetation from the lake, Step 6 was Desilting of sludge, silt and other organic waste from the bed of the lake periphery and Step 7 was the Cleaning and maintaining interceptor drain to ensure waste doesn't go inside the Lake," statement mentioned.
"DJB has been doing work of holistic rejuvenation of Bhalswa Lake for many years. The above tasks are mentioned in S.No. 1 and 7 have been done so far. Soon, an in situ treatment system will be placed inside the lake to improve water quality to BOD 5 mg/L levels," it added.
Chairman, DJB has been holding regular meetings with area MLA and councillor on the issue of Bhalswa Lake rejuvenation to expedite the work. The lake has been under DDA since 2019 but it has been in dismal condition and water quality was thoroughly contaminated. On the instruction of CM Shri Arvind Kejriwal, DJB took it upon itself to rejuvenate the lake and improve the water quality. The working permission was taken by DJB from DDA on 17.05.2019. Thereafter DJB performed a detailed survey and developed a strategy to initiate cleaning works, the official statement said. (ANI)