Delhiites, here’s a reason to rejoice! The capital is all set to get South Biodiversity, marking its seventh biodiversity park. While the primary aim of the initiative is to remove the water hyacinths from the river and thereby improve the water quality, this further marks a new milestone as it is the first time that a constructed wetland system is set to be built on a river. Once successful, this model can be replicated for other rivers as well.
Located right next to the DND flyway, the South Biodiversity park has recently been approved of by the Delhi Development Authority, which owns the land and has allocated around two crore rupees for development of the biodiversity park on the Yamuna floodplain over the next five years.
Led by ecologist CR Babu, a team of scientists is slated to work on the project. A model that may be similar to Delhi’s Neela Hauz is currently underway. However, for developing Delhi’ s 7th biodiversity park, the challenges are several.
For instance, the site is currently a dumping area for construction debris. Worse, it is an open defecation ground for nearby slum dwellers as the open discharge of sewage from colonies from across the Ring Road present problems related to public health and hygiene.
Developing biodiversity parks are essential to the changing dynamics of the Indian city landscape. Rapid urbanization, high levels of population and the excessive exploitation of natural resources are eroding the diversity of the flora and fauna of most rivers in the country today. To restore the lost regional diversity within growing cities and urban areas, there is an urgent need to create a healthy ecosystem and the creation of more biodiversity parks in the region are a step forward in the right direction.
Currently, Delhi has six biodiversity parks that include the Kamla Nehru Ridge (Civil Lines), Yamuna biodiversity park (Wazirabad), Aravali Biodiversity park (Vasant Vihar), Tilpath Valley and one that is located right behind Tughlakabad Fort and the Neela Hauz lake.