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Saturday, Sep 21, 2019

NGT asks agencies to submit time-specific schedule to clean Yamuna

The green panel noted that repeated timelines have not been adhered to over the past 30 years and the river continues to be polluted.

delhi Updated: Sep 13, 2019 05:51 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked various agencies responsible for cleaning the river Yamuna to give a “time-specific schedule” for the task
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked various agencies responsible for cleaning the river Yamuna to give a “time-specific schedule” for the task(Arvind Yadav/ Hindustan Times)
         

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked various agencies responsible for cleaning the river Yamuna to give a “time-specific schedule” for the task. The green panel noted that repeated timelines have not been adhered to over the past 30 years and the river continues to be polluted.

The panel’s directions came in response to the second interim report submitted by the NGT-appointed Yamuna pollution monitoring committee and the affidavits/ reports filed by the Delhi government, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and state governments of Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

A bench headed by NGT chairperson justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said all authorities must give specific timelines for actions to be undertaken in terms of orders of the tribunal.

“Tribunal will finalise fresh timelines with clear adverse consequences of violating such revised timelines. This is necessary as repeated timelines have not been adhered to in the last 30 years and pollution of river Yamuna is continuing,” the bench said, adding, “ Such pollution needs to be controlled at the earliest for protection of environment and public health and having regard to unique significance of the river Yamuna which is a major tributary of river Ganga.”

The tribunal in its earlier orders had said that the failure of authorities in cleaning the Yamuna is affecting life and health of citizens as well as threatening the existence of the river — the only major source of water in Delhi.

Also, the panel had said that high pollution load in the river was mainly because of large amount of untreated sewage and industrial effluents being emptied into it.

“It is a welcome direction. But I hope in the final order the NGT; it will include specific directions for the Delhi government with regard to the observations of the monitoring committee that the policy of free water supply was hampering the sewerage system of the city, which has been resulting in pollution in the river,” said activist Manoj Misra of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyan.

The NGT-committee in its report this July had said that at least 61% Delhiites benefit from the state government’s free water scheme but are not paying ‘sewer charges’, which goes against the “polluter pays” principle.

The scheme was introduced by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in 2015 in which families using 20,000 litres water are not charged for it. A part of this water bill would go to paying for sewerage which too isn’t charged for such families.

First Published: Aug 25, 2019 19:35 IST