25 January 2022.
- Najafgarh Jheel is a transboundary wetland. It is located along the borders of Delhi and Haryana.
- The Najafgarh lake is under the control of Delhi.
- The National Green Tribunal recently directed the Haryana and Delhi governments to implement the environment management plans prepared by them.
- The plan aims to rejuvenate Najafgarh Jheel.
- The Najafgarh water body was once spread over 226 square kilometer.
- Today it has shrinked to seven square kilometres.
- In December 2021, the central government made the Najafgarh as a transboundary wetland.
- This was done to ease the rejuvenation process.
What is the issue?
- The lake is largely filled with sewage from Gurugram.
- The lake is fed by the Sahibi river.
- It was a huge in size and was connected with river Yamuna through the Najafgarh drain.
- The Flood Control Department of Delhi was continuously widening the drain after 1960s to save the capital from floods.
- This almost drained the lake completely.
What is the management plan?
- The plan will first notify the Najafgarh lake and its wetland under the Wetlands (Conservation and Management) Rules, 2017. These conservation rules regulate the activities in the wetland.
- The plan prohibits constructions within fifty metres from the mean high flood level.
- The Zone of Influence covers 4,740 hectares, that is, 2,140 hectares in Haryana and 2,600 hectares in Delhi. The Zone of Influence is the buffer zone. It holds the seasonal floods. Water from these zones are used for agriculture. No construction is allowed in this zone. The zone is hazardous to buildings due to high soil liquefaction.
- Removal of water hyacinth and other invasive species in the lake.
Why is the lake important?
- The lake supports 281 bird species.
- This includes Sarus crane, Egyptian vulture, greater spotted eagle, steppe eagle, imperial eagle.
- The migrating birds using the Central Asian flyway used to rest in the lake earlier.
- The lake was once a habitat to the Siberian Cranes.