The Delhi High Court has slammed the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) for not repairing or replacing badly damaged sewage lines running through S Block of Greater Kailash-I despite an order of the court two-and-half years ago.
As a result, sewage has continued to leak into the adjacent storm water drain causing serious health and environmental hazard in the posh area.
Residents have already raised fears of outbreak of epidemics.
The thick black dirty water is directly flowing into the Yamuna when, according to rules, it is to be diverted to a sewage plant where it is to be treated before being discharged into the river.
Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra was hearing a petition filed by the GK-I residents seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the DJB for “willfully and knowingly disobeying the order of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog dated March 6, 2006 by not carrying out repairs to prevent sullage and sewage through storm water drain”. Justice Nandrajog found the DJB “guilty of polluting the river Yamuna for all these years by this conduct”.
Petitioner's lawyer Ashok Sethi said the stench from the rainwater drain being used as a sewage drain has made life hell for residents and exposed them to diseases like hepatitis and jaundice.
When the DJB counsel said the sewer lines were damaged because they were 35 years old, the judge said: “Had there been no corruption in your department, the sewer lines would not have cracked in 35 years. Such amenities in a city are made to survive for hundreds of years.”
Justice Dhingra sought an explanation from the DJB as to how some houses in Greater Kailash-I and B block of Kalkaji were found to have connected their internal sewer lines to the storm water drain. “These unauthorised connections easily prove the connivance,” the court said.
Sewer lines carrying discharge of Masjid Moth and Greater Kailash-I were damaged near Savitri Cinema. Sewage from this line was also flowing into the storm water drain.
B.M. Dhaul, then chief engineer of the DJB, had assured the court in March 2006 he would carry out the rectification work by December that year.
“It is regrettable that officers of DJB permitted sewage to flow into Yamuna through the storm water drain. Dhaul admits sewage has to be taken to a sewage treatment plant where it has to be treated before being discharged into the river Yamuna. Delhi Jal Board is guilty of polluting the river Yamuna for all these years,” Justice Pradeep Nandrajog had said in 2006.