Delhi government says at least 3 to 5 years needed to upgrade sewage treatment plants to reduce frothing in Yamuna river
"The upgradation of all STPs in UP, Haryana and Delhi, which will substantially reduce the problem of foaming in the Yamuna, will take about three to five years," the government said.
The upgradation of sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi to "substantially" reduce foaming in the Yamuna will take three to five years, the city government has said.
The presence of phosphates and surfactants in untreated sewage from Delhi, Haryana and UP is a major reason behind frothing in the river.
"The upgradation of all STPs in UP, Haryana and Delhi to treat the wastewater as per the latest standards, which will substantially reduce the problem of foaming (in the Yamuna), will take about three to five years depending upon the availability of funds etc," the government said in an affidavit submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
It said the delay in tree cutting permission, Covid-19 lockdown, financial hardships and migration of labour slowed down the construction and upgradation of four major sewage treatment plants (STPs) – Kondli, Rithala, Okhla and Coronation Pillar -- in Delhi.
The Coronation Pillar STP is to be completed by March 31, while the deadline for Kondli, Rithala and Okhla STPs is December 2022, as per the contract agreement.
"The STPs at Rithala, Kondli, Coronation Pillar and Okhla with a total capacity of 279 million gallons a day are under rehabilitation/upgradation and likely to be completed by June 2023," the Delhi government said in the affidavit.
"In case of Rithala and Okhla, the files for tree cutting permissions, complete in all respects, are pending final approval in the Environment and Forest Department since September 23, 2020 and September 29, 2020, respectively," it said.
The construction of Coronation Pillar STP slowed down mainly due to the delay in handing over the site, appointment of project management consultant, construction ban imposed by Environment Pollution (Prevention and Control) Authority, Covid-19 lockdown and migration of labour etc, it said.
An action plan has already been prepared for the upgradation of the remaining 16 STPs in Delhi, and submitted to NGT-appointed Yamuna Monitoring Committee.
The work will be completed in three to four years subject to availability of land and funds which are beyond the jurisdiction of the DJB, the affidavit read.
The government said the "cash flow problem resulted from the exigencies of Covid-19 crisis and were totally un-anticipated and unprecedented."