By June this year, the extended period of Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) II, a whopping Rs 1,000 crore would have been spent under phase I and II of the YAP since its beginning in 1994.
Another Rs 1,600 crore is earmarked for YAP III as part of grants received from the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Rs 1,400 crore is to be pumped through JNNURM. But all this has failed to make Yamuna pollution-free in the national Capital.
"From bad to worst" is how Manoj Mishra of Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan describes the condition over the years of the action plan. With nothing much achieved by earlier plans, Mishra said he has "no hopes at all" from YAP III.
"In absence of any overarching agency to monitor and control multiple agencies in the city, how can a project that states 'if this and this does so, then this and this will happen' work?" he asked and added, "The key issue of more water release upstream of Delhi has always been skirted."
Ramesh Negi, CEO of Delhi Jal Board, claimed the exact opposite. "From 45% to 65%, the sewerage coverage has actually gone up during the last decade. And now we are working on interceptor sewer," he said.
YAP I saw community toilets by the MCD, II saw capacity addition for sewage treatment and in III the DJB expects to take sewage treatment capacity to 700 MGD. Plus, a Sewerage Master Plan 2031 is taking shape.
"In 5-6 years, the biological oxygen demand level will come down to 12 as against the current 30-40," he said.