Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Friday inaugurated the historic underground natural water reservoirs to conserve rainwater in the floodplains of river Yamuna.
This pet project of Delhi government aims at the storage of floodwater in the Yamuna flood plains and is first of its kind in the country to solve the scarcity of water in the national capital.
Speaking on the occasion, Shekhawat said: "This is a unique experiment. In the coming time, this pilot project can become a Delhi model to be showcased not only in India but across the world."
"In this pilot project, artificial reservoirs are being created on the Yamuna floodplains of one-metre depth, in which floodwater will be collected. This water will gradually recharge and come back to the Yamuna through a natural process. The success of this pilot project of Delhi government can be a milestone in water conservation and water security," he said.
He warned that India's water is the most "contaminated in the world and countries which get much less rainfall than India have made themselves water security nations, safeguarding the future of coming generations".
Kejriwal described the beginning of the pilot project as a "very big day" for Delhi.
"On their own, farmers had been taking steps but it is for the first time probably in history that a state government has initiated such a pilot at such a big scale. Today the world is facing a water crisis. Our pilot will show the way on how to resolve the major problem of depleting groundwater," he said.
Kejriwal said this project is not about reservoirs near the Yamuna, the Delhi government is creating natural underground reservoirs and underground water will be recharged, not the surface water.
Emphasising on the pilot project, he said: "Depending upon the availability of land, first of all after the creation of reservoirs we will measure the speed with which recharging will be done."
"Speed of recharging will be measured and so will the area till which underground water reaches will also be ascertained. This will form the basis of launching the project on a bigger scale next year, once when results of the pilot will be known." The Chief Minister announced that the Delhi government will also make rainwater harvesting a mass movement very soon.
The ambitious pilot project was started on June 7 this year and it was completed within two months.
( With inputs from ANI )