The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government and the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to submit a status report on the progress of the work in the first phase of cleaning the river Yamuna. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the AAP government and the DJB to file a comprehensive report on the project, which aims to bring down pollution levels in the Najafgarh and Delhi Gate drains. “We direct NCT Delhi and Delhi Jal Board to submit a status report with regard to compliance of the directions of the tribunal in relation to execution of the work of phase-I of river Yamuna. This should be reported without default,” the bench said.
While Phase-I of Yamuna cleaning project aims to lower the pollution levels in the Najafgarh and Delhi Gate drains, Phase-II deals with Shahdara, Barapullah and other drains. During the hearing, the counsel for NCT Delhi submitted that steps were being taken to clean the river and the flood plains of Yamuna after the recent festive season of immersion were over.
The matter was fixed for next hearing on October 4. Earlier, the NGT had directed 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 earlier said that pollution in the Yamuna was of serious concern as it was highly contaminated by industrial effluents and sewage. It had also asked Haryana and Himachal Pradesh Pollution Control Board 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.
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 noted that almost 67 per cent of the pollutants reaching Yamuna would be treated by the two sewage treatment plants (STP) located at Delhi Gate and Najafgarh under the first phase of the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017’. The NGT was hearing a plea on the monitoring of implementation of this project.