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Green fury over rain pits in Aravalis
Times of India
The MCG has waved a red rag at green activists by drawing up a plan to harvest rainwater in the Arvalis in pits made specially for the purpose with construction and demolition waste.
Construction waste is randomly dumped in and around the city as the MCG doesn't have a plant to process it. So, the rainwater-harvesting plan, it says, will solve two problems together. But environmental activists alleged the civic body was just camouflaging its lethargy in building a construction waste plant and saw in the MCG's plan a design to "encroachment into the eco-sensitive zone".
"It is yet another attempt by the administration to destroy the Aravalis and ultimately give builders a free run," said a prominent city-based activist who didn't want to be named.
MCG commissioner Praveen Kumar the water-harvesting were a win-win civic solution. "We are constructing rainwater harvesting structures in the Aravalis and I feel that construction waste can better protect the bund than soil. By doing this, we have also found good use of the waste, whose disposal is a big problem. We want to construct these structures in the Aravalis as it's the first catchment area. We have already started work in this regard."
Told about the concerns of environmentalists that the creation of pits would adversely affect the ongoing plantation drive in the hills, Kumar said, "Plantation is a supporting activity, which we want to do on a large scale. We will plant around two lakh saplings. We have identified plants that don't need much water."
Environmentalist Chetan Agarwal doesn't agree. "The implication of using the concrete and demolition waste in the Aravalis will be that it will become one large waste bin. The malba (waste) will destroy the little herb and shrub cover that exists and change the local topography. It will kill whatever little remains of Aravali biodiversity," he said.
The activist who didn't want to Some environmentalists are fiercer in their argument and allege the MCG of speaking on the behalf of the builders. "I recently visited the Mehrauli forest and there I saw that the wherever the malba was dumped, the plants were dying. The MCG commissioner is helping builders in dumping tons of waste. What happened to the construction waste recycling plant which was proposed years back? I think the MCG has collided with the builders and this is the easiest way for them to destroy Aravalis at no cost. They want to see a concrete jungle here," said a local activist on request of anonymity.