The government will launch water transport services on the Yamuna stretch between Haryana’s Palla and Wazirabad in Delhi in the next three months, Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said today even as he reiterated the Centre’s commitment to cleaning the river.
“I want to assure you that we are going to start water transport from Palla to Wazirabad in the next three months. Yamuna will be beautified, its water will become clean, it will be made free of pollution.
“The saints from here met the Prime Minister, (Water Resources Minister) Umaji and (RSS chief) Mohan Bhagwatji and requested them to free Yamuna of pollution…the dream of the saints will come true,” Gadkari said at an event here.
At the event in Vrindavan, the Petroleum Ministry signed an MoU with the Water Resources Ministry for purchasing treated water for Indian Oil Corporation’s Mathura refinery from an STP to be installed along Yamuna.
The event was also attended by Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Water Resources Minister Uma Bharti and local MP Hema Malini.
Union Shipping Minister Gadkari reiterated that the government has decided to use plastic and metal waste from Delhi’s Ghazipur landfill site for construction of Delhi-Meerut road and suggested that garbage dumped in Yamuna can be re-used for some other purpose.
He also said the central government intends to boost tourism between Delhi and Agra by initiate seaplane services.
Bharti termed signing of the MoU as a “historic” step and said the tender process for setting up the 20-MLD capacity sewage treatment plant (STP) is expected to be completed within the next 2-3 months.
The STP, to be set up at a cost of Rs 40 crore on hybrid annuity mode under the Centre’s Namami Gange programme, will be installed within a year, she said.
A nine-kilometer pipeline will be laid to carry treated water to the refinery.
“Plus, we will also carry out works of river development, crematoria repairing/construction on hybrid annuity mode along the Yamuna’s stretch. These works will start simultaneously. It will take two years to complete the works,” she said.
An official, however, said that the government would upgrade the already existing STP in Mathura to ensure better quality of water is available.
Bharti also urged Malini to direct ‘nritya natika’ (dance ballet) on Ganga and Yamuna with her troupe to be shown in Varanasi and Mathura-Vrindavan to spread awareness among locals about river cleanliness.
Pradhan said the Mathura refinery will need 200 lakh crore litres of water for its daily operations.
“And once the STP becomes operational, it will help reduce Yamuna pollution as waste water will not be allowed to flow into the river and will be treated for re-use,” he added.
The ministers also distributed LPG connections to 300 women under the government’s Ujjwala scheme during the event. Bharti said she and Gadkari would meet Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal soon to discuss the issue of cleaning Yamuna.
“We will meet to overcome the problem of discharge of sewage water of Delhi into Yamuna,” she said.
“The ecological flow of the river should not be disturbed by constructing embankments,” she said, adding that at least 30 per cent water should be discharged in Yamuna at Hathini Kund.
Pradhan said the STP will emit sufficient ethane and methane that can be used for producing clean fuel.
“A target for providing LPG connections to 50 lakh BPL families has been fixed,” he said.