To keep the Yamuna clean, builders found guilty of dumping construction and demolition debris on its riverbed will be fined R2,500. The nat-ional green tribunal, in its latest order, told government agencies to recover the money spent on removing debris from the river.
Officials of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA), flood control and environment departments, and representatives from the Uttar Pradesh government held a meeting and decided to impose the fine.
Manoj Misra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan, on whose petition the tribunal's order came on January 31, was critical of the move. "How do you know who has done it (the dumping)? The idea should be to prevent and punish potential polluters. The sum is so small that it might as well encourage polluters."
"I have urged the Lt Governor to let the punishment be of a truly deterrent nature so that no polluter could get away with a mere token fine. I have also requested him to empower officials to act," he said.
SD Singh, nodal officer for water bodies in the Capital, said, "We have estimated R2,500 is needed for the removal of debris in a truck." About government agencies, he said: "Government agencies will dump municipal waste at the landfill site in Ghazipur. Construction and other materials have to be shifted to other identified sites."
"The debris has to be taken to a factory in Bawana, set up by the DDA for reprocessing of construction material and tile manufacturing," he said.
Invoking the 'polluter pays' principle, the tribunal had said, "…even private parties are throwing debris. These authorities (the governments in Delhi and UP, besides DDA and East Delhi Municipal Corporation) are directed to recover amounts spent on removal of debris."
The authorities have installed notice boards along the river, forbidding people from throwing pollutants.