Holding every Delhi resident responsible for polluting the Yamuna, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday ordered every household to pay a certain amount each month as environment compensation.
This amount can either be added to the property tax, water or electricity bills.
The compensation will fund the Delhi Jal Board’s (DJB) ambitious plan to set up or repair 15 sewage treatment plants (STPs) and make sure that no sewerage or effluents enter the river.
It will be a time-bound cess that will be withdrawn once the estimated cost of the project is met. The cost of the project is projected to be about Rs 3,700 crore.
“The monthly compensation payable by all the households in Delhi would be directly proportional to the property tax or water bill, whichever is higher, payable by such households. Where the household or person is not paying water bill and property tax and are located in unauthorised colonies, in that event, such household shall pay the sum of Rs 100 or Rs 500 per month as the case may be. This amount would be determined by the authority concerned with reference to the construction existing on the plot,” the NGT’s order stated.
While a large number of Delhiites already pay sewerage charges, this will be over and above that cost.
“We direct NCT of Delhi, DJB and all municipal corporations, Cantonment Board, electricity companies like BSES and all other civic authorities to require payment of environmental compensation from every household which is generating sewage in the entire NCT of Delhi on the polluters pay principle. It will be irrespective of whether a household is sewered or not,” the order said.
The tribunal bench ordered DJB to submit the complete action plan and timeframe for completion of first phase of the project “Maily Se Nirmal Yamuna” Revitalisation Plan, 2017 within one week’s time. Work on the Najafgarh drain will be taken up in the first phase, the tribunal ordered.
Fine for dumping waste in drains
Widening the ambit of its previous order, the NGT said that no person will be allowed to throw any waste into the various drains of the city. The tribunal had earlier ordered a fine of Rs 5,000 on anyone throwing material, including religious items, into Yamuna.A similar fine has now been ordered for anyone, including sanitation workers who throw waste in drains.