Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Friday admitted that the pollution level in river Yamuna has increased and it has become worse even after spending large amounts of money.
Dikshit was replying to a resolution in the Delhi Assembly moved by Congress MLA Subhash Chopra on the last day of the Winter Session. The resolution demanded that an immediate plan be made and implemented in a time bound manner for cleaning the river and making it pollution free.
The CM said that the Delhi government has already approached the Centre for the creation of "Yamuna Authority", a body which would coordinate various departments and agencies. She said the proposal was lying with the Centre at present.
"The MCD has made Yamuna a dumping ground for waste. Of the 18 drains which flow in the river, 15come under the civic body," she said. Dikshit also criticised the DSIIDC for not doing enough to treat the water in the sewage treatment plants before discharging it in the river. The CM then blamed the existence of unauthorised colonies for pollution in the river. "We cannot provide sewage facility in the unauthorised colonies due to High Court order and this untreated sewage finally falls in the river," Dikshit told the House.
Replying to the charges of Congress MLA Bhisham Sharma that the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) spent Rs 952 crore on cleaning the river but could do nothing, Dikshit said the money was spent on the sewerage system of Delhi, most of which finally go to the river. Dikshit, who is also the chairperson of the DJB, said the population of Delhi was increasing and there was more pressure on the river than before.
The CM said if needed, international experts would also be called in to improve the river. For the riverbanks, she asked the DDA to make a plan to beautify it. "All the great cities of the world have a river as their lifeline. Yamuna is the lifeline of Delhi and we need to make it pollution free," she said. The resolution of Chopra was passed by the House after Dikshit's statement.