The Delhi authorities’s forest division is planning to construct over 70 small test dams within the catchment areas of the Asola Bhatti sanctuary and the southern and central ridges to preserve rainwater and stop soil erosion.
The mission goals to retain water within the type of small ponds that can assist recharge groundwater aquifers, deliver up the depleting water desk and likewise function a pure water useful resource to help wildlife and enhance vegetation. These forests are thought-about town’s inexperienced lungs. Throughout monsoon, rainwater flows out of the forests into close by colonies and drains and nutrient-rich soil is misplaced on account of floor runoff.
In keeping with officers within the forest division, the mission has already been launched on the Asola sanctuary. Eleven test dams are already being constructed. These dams will assist retain as a lot water as attainable, which can progressively support in elevating the water desk of close by areas as effectively. It is going to additionally enhance the soil high quality and vegetation within the space.
The sanctuary is situated on the southern ridge and is unfold throughout 1,960 hectares. It’s a part of the northern Aravallis and serves as a carbon sink for the nationwide capital and a possible shelterbelt in opposition to desert storms.
The choice to construct test dams was taken by the Delhi authorities after the Delhi Excessive Courtroom advised town authorities final yr to lure rainwater and test soil erosion in protected forest areas.
“Verify dams are small dams which can be constructed throughout a water channel or a drainage ditch (despair) to counteract erosion by lowering the rate of the circulation of water. It prevents the soil from erosion throughout rainfall and permits water to be retained within the type of small swimming pools or waterholes the place wild animals can drink and bathe. Additionally they assist pure vegetation develop by retaining moisture,” mentioned Ishwar Singh, the principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) and head of the forest division.
A senior forest official mentioned that their departments has undertaken an in depth survey to establish the catchment areas in any respect three areas. “To date at Asola, we’ve recognized round 30 websites the place test dams of about 2-Four toes in top will come up. A survey to establish 20 extra websites is happening. Additionally, three or 4 larger dams of 6-Eight toes in top will likely be constructed within the sanctuary space. In addition to, on the southern and central ridges, 8-10 dams every will come up. These forests have already got just a few larger test dams we constructed just a few years in the past,” the official mentioned, not wishing to be named.
“The primary batch of 11 dams has been arrange within the forest space behind Sangam Vihar. At current, work is being undertaken on the Neeli Jheel and close to the Shahurpur village. Work has additionally began on the central ridge,” the official added.
The forest division has roped within the Bombay Pure Historical past Society (BNHS) for the mission. Sohail Madan, an ecologist and supervisor of the BNHS Conservation Schooling Centre at Asola Bhatti sanctuary mentioned that three sorts of test dams—gabion rock dams, soil embankment dams and grass dams—are being constructed on seasonal streams.
“Verify dams are efficient, low-cost and don’t disturb the forest as such. They are going to be of immense assist in retaining soil and moisture at a spot like Asola, which has steep slopes the place the water and the silt run down quick,” mentioned Madan.
CR Babu, professor emeritus and head of the Centre for Environmental Administration of Degraded Ecosystems (CEMDE) at Delhi College, mentioned that test dams are a standard technique of rainwater harvesting in bigger landscapes equivalent to forests which have larger floor drainage channels. “There are various roles that these dams play, from rising the capability of groundwater recharge, elevating the water desk and retaining moisture for plant development to serving as grassland habitats, which enrich the general biodiversity. It’s a good approach to forestall soil erosion. A few of the deeper streams function a water useful resource even in the course of the dry season,” mentioned Babu.