The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has told the national green tribunal that it has no information regarding 20,000 truckloads of construction and demolition waste or debris dumped on the banks of the Yamuna under its control.
In an affidavit to the tribunal, DDA vice-chairman D Diptivilasa admitted that no record was available that could ascertain how much debris had been dumped or who was responsible for the mess.
He, however, admitted that as much as 90,000 cubic metres of debris (roughly 20,000 truckloads) had been dumped on the river’s eastern and western banks under DDA jurisdiction.
On the western bank, including areas near the DND Flyway and the Smriti Van, 53,000 cubic metres of debris lay dumped. Of this, 46,500 cubic metres of debris have been reportedly removed to a municipal corporation dumping ground, the Prem Bari bridge and the Chilla Sports Complex.
On the eastern bank, 37,000 cubic metres of waste exist. This has been stacked at a higher place and removed to the Chilla Sports Complex. Some of it has been levelled, leaving concrete blocks for the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation to remove.
Diptivilasa, though, admitted that construction projects of the DDA had generated 44,220 cubic metres (10,000 truckloads) of debris in the last 10 years. But he claimed none of its 16 contractors ever dumped it on the riverbed. The DDA mentioned nine sites where debris is dumped.
He said the department spent R63 lakh on waste disposal and that debris removal will be completed in 15 days.
The tribunal has ordered government authorities to ensure the immediate removal of debris. Uprooted warning boards have to be reinstalled again. The matter will be heard every week now. The next hearing is on July 22.