The central public works department (CPWD), which builds and maintains most central government's properties, has apologised to the national green tribunal for dumping of debris in the Yamuna riverbed. But it has also shifted the blame to its contractors.
The central agency has promised swift removal of the debris from the riverbed and also proposed an action plan to ensure the river is not choked with debris in future.
In an affidavit filed recently before the tribunal, CPWD director-general VK Gupta has said the department has contractors for collection of debris from its construction sites and dumping it at places earmarked by municipal corporations. Since the trucks ply at night, the CPWD could not track their movement. So debris dumping rests squarely on contractors and the CPWD assumes they adhere to rules. The CPWD cannot claim the debris was dumped at approved sites, Gupta said.
The tribunal has told various land-owning agencies, including the CPWD, to file fresh affidavits stating the amount of debris generated in their jurisdiction in the past 10 years. The matter would be heard next on July 17.
Hearing a case filed last year by Manoj Misra of NGO Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, the tribunal also recently wanted to know where the debris was supposed to be thrown and where it was actually thrown, details of contracts awarded for dumping and the source of debris.
To avoid any further dumping in the riverbed, the CPWD has promised it will seek a list of approved sites from the municipal corporations. The department will also mention in agreements signed with contractors the right procedure for dumping of debris and payment would be made only upon compliance. Heavy penalty and termination of contracts would be resorted to in case of violation.