Delhi as a "City of Lakes" -- that's the vision of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, for which the city's water board on Monday approved funds to the tune of Rs 453 crore. The funds will be used to recharge and rejuvenate 159 lakes in the national capital and create to mega lakes, the Delhi Jal Board said on Monday.
With the two mega lakes in Rohini and Nilothi village in west Delhi, the number of 'to-do' lake list goes up to five. Of the three others planned, two - in Dwarka and Najafgarh in west Delhi -- have received approval, another one in northeast Delhi's Timarpur is pending.
The Delhi Jal Board said over 350 acres in the national capital will be covered by water bodies, which would be able to hold 135 million gallons of water and help recharge groundwater.
Mr Kejriwal greeted the Jal Board announcement with a tweet:
Delhi will become a city of lakes.— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 24, 2018
It will reduce pollution, recharge groundwater, make our city beautiful. All these lakes will be developed into tourist places wid beautiful landscapes. https://t.co/U6zSG5NhZB
The historic city once had many lakes, dug by its Sultans and their nobles, most suffered from neglect with the real estate boom. Only five lakes are among the better known these days, though they are far from being tourist attractions.
In east Delhi, Sanjay Jheel was once known as the temporary home of migratory birds. But with progressive dumping of garbage in the lake, the number of birds has dropped drastically.
The historic Purana Quila also has a small lake where boat-rides are a regular feature. The Naini lake in north Delhi is a go-to place for locals. So is the one in posh south Delhi's Hauz Khas.
Though it does not qualify as a lake, the Agrasen ki Baoli - a step well -- comes as a pleasant surprise in the middle of Connaught Place, the congested heart of Delhi.