Delhi to build 70 check dams in Asola Bhatti
NEW DELHI: The Delhi government’s forest department is planning to build over 70 small check dams in the catchment areas of the Asola Bhatti sanctuary and the southern and central ridges to conserve rainwater and prevent soil erosion.
The project aims to retain water in the form of small ponds that will help recharge groundwater aquifers, bring up the depleting water table and also serve as a natural water resource to support wildlife and improve vegetation. During monsoon, rainwater flows out of the forests into nearby colonies and drains and nutrient-rich soil is lost due to surface runoff.
According to forest department officials, the project has already been launched at Asola sanctuary. Eleven check dams are already being built. These dams will help retain as much water as possible, which will gradually aid in raising the water table of nearby areas as well. It will also improve the soil quality and vegetation in the area.
“Check dams are small dams that are built to counteract erosion by reducing the velocity of the flow of water. It prevents the soil from erosion during rainfall and allows water to be retained in the form of small pools,” said Ishwar Singh, the principal chief conservator of forests and head of the forest department.
A senior forest official, requesting anonymity, said that their departments has undertaken an extensive survey to identify the catchment areas at all three locations. “So far at Asola, we have identified around 30 sites where check dams of about 2-4 feet in height will come up. A survey to identify 20 more sites is going on.