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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Watchdog hauls up Delhi, UP for Yamuna pollution

Darpan Singh, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 01, 2013
First Published: 23:42 IST(1/2/2013) | Last Updated: 01:45 IST(2/2/2013)

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has appointed five lawyers as local commissioners to ensure a speedy clean-up of the Yamuna riverbed.

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The tribunal has also ordered notification of dumping sites within two weeks and the formation of a multi-department panel within a week for framing of one-time anti-pollution guidelines.

This has come after the governments in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh failed to clear the riverbed of debris, despite repeated orders from the NGT in the last one year.

These commissioners will visit the sites without notice to anybody and report to the tribunal whether the debris is being removed properly. They will also monitor if fresh debris was being dumped.

These commissioners are expected to submit a report to the tribunal soon. The NGT has directed the two governments, besides the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, to start removing debris from the riverbank and nearby water bodies.

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The tribunal has also said that even municipal solid wastes are found at these sites and ordered the same to be removed and dumped at the landfill site in Ghazipur. "Construction and other materials should be shifted to other identified sites," the tribunal said.

The NGT ordered these authorities to work in tandem and notify the tribunal within two weeks new sites for dumping of debris. For the time being, these authorities will start removing debris and bring them to the end of the highest flood level of the river. The stored debris shall be converted into a wall to prevent unauthorised entry, floods and pollution.

For the execution of the plan, the NGT has directed the DDA to form, within a week, a panel comprising officials of the corporation, Delhi's environment department and UP's irrigation department and frame one-time guidelines to rid the river-bed of debris.

Warning the authorities of serious action in case of non-compliance of its order, the tribunal told them to recover amounts spent for removal of debris which are thrown by non-government entities and individuals.

"The debris has to be removed and taken to a factory in Bawana, established by the DDA for reprocessing of construction material and manufacturing of tiles," the NGT said.


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