The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the directors of IIT, Delhi and Roorkee to prepare a new project for cleaning the Yamuna.
While forming the committee, a bench of Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Madan B Lokur reiterated that the current project to clean the river had failed despite the government agencies spending R12,000 crore over two decades.
The court also directed the secretary of the Union environment and forest ministry to convene a meeting of all relevant authorities to discuss the project with the two IIT directors. It also fixed January 12 for the meeting and directed the committee to place the details of the project before the court on February 8.
“We like you to take up the project minutely. Prepare an outline of the project to clean the river. We have got the impression that it is impossible to clean the river until drastic steps are taken,” the bench told the directors who were personally present in the court.
It also asked the heads of the Delhi Development Authority, the three municipal corporations, the Delhi Jal Board, a representative of the lieutenant governor, the chief secretary of Haryana and senior advocate Ranjit Kumar —who is assisting the court as amicus curiae — to attend the meeting.
The court’s direction came during the hearing of the ‘Maili Yamuna’ case that was taken up by the top court after a report in the Hindustan Times highlighted the pathetic condition of the river 18 years ago. Since then, the court has been issuing various directions to several government agencies to clean the river.
“It seems not enough water is released into the river when it enters Delhi. Probably, we need to have a relook at the 1994 agreement,” the bench had noted on the last date of hearing.
Upset with the failure of government agencies to clean the river despite spending huge funds on various projects, the court finally decided to seek assistance of the IIT directors.