In a bid to provide an ecotourism hub in Delhi, Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on Thursday dedicated the nation’s capital’s first waterfall complex at Neeli Jheel, Asola Bhati Mines, to residents, according to an official statement. The city’s recreational and educational public space is expected to help make the region a world-class center for ecotourism.
“Inauguration of 4 man-made waterfalls at Neeli Jheel, Asola Bhati Mines. The first of their kind in Delhi, they will provide a delightful experience to people and rejuvenate the lake by improving dissolved oxygen. Expect more green recreational areas in the capital,” Delhi LG tweeted. Speaking on the occasion, the Lieutenant Governor said: “This initiative, like indeed other additional efforts in Delhi, emanates from Prime Minister Modi’s vision to rejuvenate the city and provide improved facilities and increased to residents of the capital”.
According to an official statement, the complex was created as part of LG’s efforts to create green and open public recreation spaces in the nation’s capital. “These waterfalls are expected to attract domestic visitors, tourists, school children, conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts among others. Similar projects at various stages of completion in the city include Roshanara Bagh, Baansera, Asita East, Najafgarh Drain and Anang Tal Baoli, etc..” the statement said.
These include LG’s fifth visit to Asola Bhati Mines, the first having taken place on May 31 this year, five days after he took office, after his predecessor Anil Baijal resigned for personal reasons. “On June 12, the LG visited the sanctuary with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia when he outlined his vision to develop the site into an ecotourism center that could also serve as reservoirs water for the city,” the statement said.
“On July 24, as part of the annual Van Mahotsav, the LG planted 1 lakh saplings in the forest area of Asola Bhati Mines. During its fourth visit on October 16, the LG inspected the trial of these waterfalls inaugurated today”, added. Located at a distance of approx. 5 km from the entrance of Maidan Garhi inside the Asola Bhati mines at Neeli Jheel, these four sites for the waterfalls were selected on the basis of their geological/morphological characteristics. They have no sediment and are hard rock slabs that have surfaced after sediment erosion over the past three decades since mining activities were banned in the Bhati mines.
“The waterfalls were created at these sites by pumping water from the Neeli Jheel up rock ledges about 100 feet high from where the water plunges back into the Neeli Jheel. The water from the Jheel is pumped to the top using a 15 HP pump that is powered by a silent generator using solar power,” he said. The statement further said that the simulated waterfall on four ledges /different cliffs not only provides an ecotourism center with beautiful scenic views, but will also support higher dissolved oxygen saturation and facilitate the growth of flora and fauna in the stagnant water body.
“The surroundings of the waterfall complex have been provided with safe vantage points for visitors. An existing structure belonging to the Forestry Department at the site which provides a bird’s eye view of the Neeli Jheel has also been upgraded,” said he declared. Saxena directed officials to arrange for a cafeteria and public restrooms using all environmentally friendly materials to avoid any harm to the environment and for the comfort of visitors.
He asked officials to strictly ensure that no plastics are allowed inside the forest area. He also ordered to deploy electric vehicles/electric buses for visitors coming to Neeli Jheel. “The Neeli Jheel has water all year round and its source is a mixture of groundwater and rainwater collected from nearby areas. This year, on the instructions of the LG, a huge amount of water rain has been diverted from nearby areas to the Asola Bhati Mines using pipelines. As a result, the water level at Neeli Jheel has also risen by at least 3 meters compared to previous years,” says the press release (ANI)
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