Najafgarh drain will soon be transformed into an ecotourism destination

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The Najafgarh Drain, which is also part of the Sahibi River and an extension of the Najafgarh
Jhel (lake), continues its flow in the interior of Delhi, where it empties into the Yamuna River. The 57 km long drain had its heyday and not so hot too.


The Najafgarh Drain, the former proposed bird sanctuary, is also one of the most polluted bodies of water in the Delhi-NCR region. Its main source – Najafgarh
Jhel– is no better. However, recent developments suggest plans to rejuvenate the Najafgarh drain and turn it into an ecotourism destination.

Currently, the Najafgarh drain is where all the untreated sewage collects from nearby areas.

Under the new development plan, the Najafgarh drain will be developed in such a way that it can support activities such as water sports and boat rides. And to do this, the lake must have a certain depth.

At present, there is the problem of heavy siltation, the accumulation of solid waste from all neighboring areas, and the excessive growth of water hyacinth, completely smothering the water body. Various specialized agencies were tasked with desilting the drain and putting mesh in various places to prevent solid waste from entering the drain.

The backfill areas will also be the subject of landscaping work and the planting of decorative trees, thus giving a facelift to the drain. However, while we are discussing all the pros here, there are some downsides to this idea as well.

For example, once water sports and boats are introduced in Najafgarh drain, it will mean more people visiting the area. Human activities lead to greater waste generation in the region. There is a good chance that the already vulnerable Najafgarh
Jhel bear directly the weight of these sequelae of human activities.

Plus, there’s a good chance the area will cease to be a birdwatching hotspot, which would be a disappointment for bird watchers. As things stand, over the past couple of years, many bird watchers have reported a significant decrease in the number of migratory birds in Najafgarh and Yamuna Khadar region in Wazirabad region of Delhi. This is most likely the result of human activities such as road extension works and sand mining throughout the Yamuna Khadar region.

  1. Is the Najafgarh drain a sewage drain?
    The Najafgarh drain is not a sewage drain but unfortunately due to its proximity to the high population density along its embankments, a lot of sewage is discharged into the drain. The Najafgarh drain was created as a flood control measure.
  2. Where is the Najafgarh drain?
    The Najafgarh drain is located in the village of Dhansa in the southwest of NCT-Delhi near Gurgaon.
  3. Why is Najafgarh Jheel popular?
    Najafgarh Jheel is home to many migratory birds that visit India in winter. Decades ago, this was one of the best places to see the very rare and critically endangered Siberian Crane. Unfortunately, not anymore.
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