Among places of East Delhi, Sanjay Lake used to be one of the most renowned places. It was famous for locals’ people to visit in morning, young guys to play cricket and football, for children to swim in the lake, but it was not famous from tourist point of view. It has now lost its gleam. The view it had in early 70’s and 80’s was something to admire.
It is widely spread over an area of 170 acre, located in Trilokpuri, adjoining Mayur Vihar Phase-II residential area. It is an artificial lake created by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) which acts as the rainwater harvester of the area and isolates it from the neighbouring colonies. In the original plan, the area of park, water body, path , grassy lawn ,children play area, and woodland had been clearly designated.
From being an eminently beauteous spot, it gradually started losing its sheen from mid 90’s as its maintenance was not carried out in an apt manner. The sewage stank up the place. “ The sewage entered the lake without restriction and no one could stand near the lake for an elongated time as it gave a stench, as untreated sewage water from the surrounding residential area was dumped here,” said Shroff, a resident of pocket C, Mayur Vihar Phase-II. Adding to it, “The fuss though didn’t end here. Residents from the surrounding displaced colonies used the lake for bathing their buffaloes, answering the call of nature, washing and bleaching activities which turned out to be fatal for the aquatic life as well,”
Though according to DDA officials, the lake still allures migratory birds whereas daily walkers and residents claim that it is history now. Over the last two years, the DDA started developing the park by managing lawns and planting trees, cleaned the lake and maintained about 250 ducks. Another concern of the residents was the threat of theft due to broken boundaries of the lake area. “From the past 3-4 months, boundary work has started and is still in progress. We are hoping that once it is completed, things will improve to a great extent as there are some unwanted anti-social elements which come in park and create nuisance,” said Mahavir Singh, assistant director, Sanjay Lake (DDA).
Interestingly, a part of the lake has been developed as a tourist spot which facilitates with boating. According to Vinod Kumar, Section Officer, Horticulture, DDA, the lake becomes arid in summer season for which two tube wells are there. But during monsoon, lake looks beautiful and greenery augments, also the lake is now cleaned twice a month. Adding to it, he claims that the boats are now in operational condition.
The residents of Mayur Vihar Phase-I, II and I.P extension desire that the DDA immediately take effective steps to ensure that the path in the jogger’s park is well-tiled and are hoping for the boundary wall to be completed soon so that they can come to the park with a secure feeling.