New Delhi: The environment ministry Wednesday told Delhi High Court that the artificial lake at the Tughlakabad Ridge area is contaminated and is posing threat to the birds and animals in the forest that depend on it.
It blamed the industrial activity and discharge from unsewered colonies in Tughlakabad here for the high level of contamination in the artificial lake.
A report submitted by the ministry before a division bench of Justice B.D. Ahmed and Justice Siddharth Mridul said the artificial lake is stretching over two km in length and 300 metres in width and it needed "immediate remedial measures" as it was posing a threat to the animals.
The MoEF said the water coming from unauthorised colonies in the vicinity of Tughlakabad and Tughlakabad Extension areas should be diverted away from the forest area.
It also did not rule out setting up of a water treatment plant in the area.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain, appearing for the ministry, told the bench that pursuant to an order of the court, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had collected samples of "contaminated" water from the artificial lake and tested them to ascertain the level of contamination.
He accepted that the water in the lake is contaminated.
"Water quality assessment of the samples collected indicated that the level of chemicals and pollution in the lake was far beyond the acceptable discharge standards," he added.
The bench has asked the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to come up with suggestions to ensure that the quality of water is acceptable for maintenance of the lake and water bodies.
The court was hearing a PIL, filed by one Manoj Kumar, alleging that birds and animals were dying because of poisonous and polluted water released from illegal factories.
It said there was a forest area in Tughlakabad on DDA land and that residents of the area were running illegal factories and using chemicals, whose hazardous discharge was contaminating the water in the forest.
The discharge has created an "artificial lake" and the polluted water "is spreading in the whole forest", it said.
Animals, including monkeys, peacocks, deer and birds have been drinking the polluted water and are dying on a large scale, the plea said.