The National Green Tribunal has slapped a fine of Rs 50,000 each on the Environment Ministry (MoEF) and the Delhi government for not submitting a status report on rejuvenation and restoration of the Yamuna river. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order after counsels of the MoEF and the Delhi government failed to appear before it and no report was placed on record. “Nobody is present on behalf of NCT Delhi and Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and no status report has been filed by them. Our order dated August 8, 2017 was peremptory. Let both these pay Rs 50,000 as cost. List this matter for compliance within one week,” the bench said.
The matter will be heard next on August 29. The tribunal had earlier asked Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and the Central Pollution Control Board to submit a detailed report on rejuvenation and restoration of the Yamuna in three weeks, saying pollution in the river was of serious concern as it was highly contaminated by industrial effluents and sewage. It had also directed the pollution control boards of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh to jointly conduct a study on water quality and flow of the Yamuna at the point where it enters Haryana, and submit a list of industries located in the catchment area of the river.
The tribunal had earlier banned open defecation and dumping of waste on the floodplains of the Yamuna and announced an environment compensation or penalty of Rs 5,000 for those who violated the order. It had also constituted a committee headed by the Delhi Jal Board CEO to oversee the execution of work pertaining to the cleaning of the river and asked it to submit reports at regular intervals. The green panel had said almost 67 per cent of the pollution reaching the Yamuna would be treated by two sewage treatment plants (STP) located at Delhi Gate and Najafgarh in the first phase of the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017’. The NGT was hearing a plea on the monitoring of implementation of the project.