National Green Tribunal has not taken it kindly…. observing Delhi Jal Board’s (DJB) inability and inefficiency to stop flow of pollutants into the river Yamuna at Delhi Gate drain, despite DJB’s assurance and its tall Technological claims.
While monitoring the progress on Yamuna Action Plan, the bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar summoned DJB’s engineer to explain why untreated water was still going into the Yamuna. The bench made no effort to contain its disappointment and called DJB’s actions as mere joke. “Why was the Delhi Gate drain not properly planned? You had assured us that not a single drop of untreated water will go into the Yamuna. Still 25 to 30 percent of waste-water is going into the Yamuna. We will not allow you to waste public money like this. Enough of this joke,” the bench commented.
Instructing the board to not surrender the funds of the last fiscal year under Yamuna rejuvenation plan to Delhi Government it instructed taking up of cleaning of river Yamuna under Center’s ‘Maily Se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalization Plan – 2017’. Additionally, it directed DJB to provide details on its planned expenditure for the year 2017 on the water and sewage management.
Confirming the development in a written reply to Raj Sabha today, the Union Minister for Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Sushri Uma Bharti further clarified that, as cleaning of rivers is an ongoing process, the Ministry is already supplementing the efforts of the States engaged in pollution abatement of river Yamuna (a tributary of river Ganga) including the Delhi Government for which it is providing financial assistance to Delhi Govt. in phased manner since 1993 under the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP).
She informed the house that Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has submitted priority of projects amounting to Rs. 1,969 crore to be taken up under Phase I of ‘Maily Se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalization Plan’. Further, under YAP Phase-III project, five components in Rithala and Kondli region Pkg R1a, R2, K3, K1, & K2 haves been appraised by IIT Roorkee and recommended by ESC and further sanctioned at a combined cost of Rs. 671.65 crores. Also, three projects under DJB’s priority list, have been appraised by Prof. Arun Kumar of AHEC, IIT Roorkee for a total cost of Rs. 1388.23 crore and are in the process of funding.
Earlier plans did not take wholesomeness of the Yamuna river system for cleaning Yamuna, due to insufficient engineering efforts, and also the desired result of earlier action plan were not achieved as desired due to lack of availability of fresh water in the river, especially during the lean period and a large gap between generation and treatment of sewage. In fact, there is no fresh water flow downstream of Wazirabad barrage in Delhi.