Unprecedented growth in Gurugram, has made enormous demands on resources, including water, energy, land, mobility and biodiversity and is generating mountains of waste. If not addressed at the early stages of growth, this can turn Gurugram into a living hell, warns a report by the Delhi-based Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) and Gurgaon First – under the aegis of the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram. The observation is part of a report on the challenges facing Gurugram and possible solutions. The document, titled ‘Gurugram: A framework for sustainable development’, notes that rapid urbanisation has led to a five-time increase in population in Gurugram, since 2001.
In terms of water, the gap between demand and supply may jump from 34 per cent to 57 per cent in the years to come, it said, adding that due to unchecked use of groundwater, the water table of the city is falling at a rate of 1-3 metres every year. The framework document bases much of its recommendations and action agenda, on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which India has committed to meet, relating to improving health and education, making cities sustainable, combating climate change and protecting forests.
The draft document recommends that water demand should be reduced by at least 25 per cent from current levels, through water efficiency and conservation measures, to ensure equitable access to clean water for all. “Promote zero landfill development – minimise and reuse solid waste. Not more than 10 per cent of waste should go to landfill sites. Promote mandatory decentralised segregation and collection, in all residential colonies and institutions, with composting sites at colony and ward levels,” the report suggested.
It also expressed concern on the level of air pollution in the city, which is a part of the National Capital Region (NCR) and identified rising number of vehicles, high use of diesel vehicles and diesel generator sets, as the key factors. “There is a growing dependence on personal vehicles. Between 2008 and 2015, car registrations increased by 352 per cent. Bus registrations were down by 300 per cent, while para-transit declined by 39 per cent. There are four times more cars per 1,000 people than in Delhi. The share of public transport, walk and cycles, has dropped from 58 per cent to 40 per cent,” it said.
The report also identified National Highway 8, which connects Delhi to Jaipur via Gurugram, as an accident hotspot, where 60 per cent of road accidents occur.