Yamuna committee pulls up Jal Board over slow implementation of septage management rules
The NGT appointed Yamuna pollution monitoring committee pulled up the Delhi Jal Board for “slow progress” of implementation of septage management rules, 2018, which is leading to pollution of the river.
The Septic Tank Waste Management Regulation came into effect on November 12, 2018. As per the regulations, Septic tank Waste (septage) shall be collected, transported and disposed of only by vendors having a valid licence issued by the DJB. The disposal has to be done only at the notified sites.
The DJB has issued only 96 licences for collection and transportation of septic tank waste to sewage treatment plants in the city over the past six months. The number is too few given that the city has a large number of colonies without a sewage network, the committee said in a recent meeting held with DJB officials over the issue.
Around one-third of Delhi is dependent on septic tanks. Of the 1,797 unauthorised colonies in the city, only 14% have been provided sewage pipelines. Septic tank waste from these colonies empty directly into the Yamuna and is one of the major reasons for the river pollution, the NGT committee had stated in a note to the city government in November 2018.
The DJB had opened the registration of licences in February in order to implement the septage management rules. Septic tank waste (faecal sludge) from areas where there is no sewerage network is collected by private vendors, who are required to obtain licences for the same under the new regulation.
The two-member committee comprising former Delhi chief secretary Shailaja Chandra and retired National Green Tribunal expert member B S Sajwan, has asked the DJB to submit a detailed action plan for better enforcement of rules.
The DJB informed the panel that it has issued 96 licences so far and 1.60 crore litres of septage has been handled. Also, the utility said it has requested district magistrates to take up the task of enforcement of rules.
To this, the monitoring committee said, “The progress is slow primarily due to absence of enforcement… The committee wants to know the details of the action plan and a report on the same must be submitted to ensure effective implementation of septage regulation.”
DJB vice-chairman Dinesh Mohaniya said, “We are implementing the rules and issuing licences to vendors. We have also discussed with DMs and SDMs to take up enforcement. However, this is a new concept and people are gradually shifting towards the change.”