Basai Wastewater Treatment Plan : Farewell for Another Wetland?

Earlier this year, The Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) had established a framework to construct a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WTP) in the Basai wetlands. The move was received with a great deal of criticism as the development would annihilate the rich natural habitat of the region. Following a dissension enlisted by the Delhi Bird Foundation, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) asked the authorities to maintain a ‘status que’ on the construction. However, the decision didn’t go well the authorities and Sudhir Chauhan, the Senior Town planner of MCG stated “As no alternative arrangement could be made for dumping of waste, people are free to dump garbage wherever they want..”

Story Behind Basai & Wastewater Treatment Plant

The Waste Treatment Plant was introduced by The Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khatar on May23, 2017
On June16, 2017, V Umashankar, the commissioner of Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), laid the foundation of the Plant in Basai. The plant, if constructed, would be used for dumping and recycling waste.
Proposal to build a Waste Treatment Plant (WTP) that would cover 3.5 acres of land, in the Basai wetland was questioned by The Delhi Bird Foundation in the National Green Tribunal (NGT), following which a stay was put on its construction.
The Basai region in Gurugram, once had a rich biodiversity. Unable to withstand harmful human activities, the wetland was significantly destroyed. Currently, it is home to several threatened and endangered bird species.
The environmentalists argue that the region is a host to almost 200 different species of birds along with a few migratory birds like Spotted Wood Sandpiper and Eurasian Winter Migratory bird. Moreover, the micro dust particles from the construction site will make it impossible for the birds to stay there.
The government, however, said the region was not notified as a wetland in the 2010 Wetland Rules. However, the authorities argue that the plant is being constructed in a degraded land and the construction of the plant would prevent the waste from being dumped in the Aravalli. With no alternative arrangement and a little space left in the city, it is, therefore, imperative to construct the Wastewater Treatment Plant.
A biodiverse nation, India has history of coexisting peacefully with its surroundings. However, in the wake of recent events, it is unfortunate to see the nation’s ecological habitat being carelessly pulverised. It is even more shocking to see, that those in position of power try to exploit the natural resources and give outlandish reasons for the same. It is high time that we start working, as an inseparable unit with the nature.

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