The National Green Tribunal on July 26, 2018 formed a monitoring committee on the cleaning of the Yamuna River.
The tribunal headed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) Chairperson A K Goel directed the committee to develop an action plan on the same and submit it by September 2018 and submit a detailed report on the issue by December 31, 2018.
Composition of the committee
The green panel has appointed retired expert member B S Sajwan and former Delhi chief secretary Shailaja Chandra as members of the committee.
• The NGT has asked the state governments of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to assist the committee on Yamuna rejuvenation.
• The Tribunal directed the authorities to take strict action against encroachments on the Yamuna floodplains.
• It also directed the Delhi Development Authority and the Delhi Jal Board to hold a meeting on July 30 to identify land for setting up of a sewage treatment plant on a drain that falls under phase-II of the Yamuna cleaning programme.
• The NGT had earlier pulled up the Delhi Jal Board over cleaning of the Yamuna River and had said that there had been no "meaningful progress" on the ground in the last three years.
• The green panel had noted that the work on 14 sewage treatment plants (STPs) had not even begun.
• The work was supposed to be completed by March 2017, as per the court's January 13, 2015 judgment.
• The sewage treatment plants would treat the effluents and ensure no pollutants enter the river.
• Expressing dissatisfaction over the situation, the tribunal had directed the CEO of the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to put in place a suitable officer who can ensure that work on the 14 STPs starts within a month and asked him to file an affidavit in this regard within two weeks.
• The bench had also directed the state government of Haryana to file an affidavit on the steps taken to ensure that no untreated effluents flow into the Yamuna.
Phase I: This phase is aimed at lowering the pollution levels in the Najafgarh and Delhi Gate drains.
Phase II: This phase deals with lowering the pollution levels in Shahdara, Barapullah and other drains.
DJB on its Progress
The Delhi Jal Board informed the tribunal that under Phase-II, 11 drains have been trapped and effluents were being treated.
It also said that the work for trapping of three out of the remaining six drains will be completed by December 2020 and that for the other two by December 2018.
The tribunal had earlier directed the Delhi government and the DJB to submit a status report on the progress of the work under the first phase of cleaning the Yamuna.
It had then directed the state governments of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to file a complete report of the stretch of the Yamuna falling beyond the national capital.
The green panel had said pollution in the Yamuna was of serious concern as it was highly contaminated with industrial effluents and sewage.
It had also asked the Haryana and Himachal Pradesh pollution control boards to jointly conduct a study of water quality and the flow of Yamuna at the point it enters Haryana and submit the list of industries located in the catchment area.
The green panel had noted that almost 67 per cent of the pollutants that enter the Yamuna would be treated by the two sewage treatment plants at Delhi Gate and Najafgarh under the first phase of the 'Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project'.
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