Green tribunal asks 6 states to come up with action plan to clean Yamuna
The National Green Tribunal on Tuesday sought a status report from six riparian states on the pollution levels in the Yamuna and its tributaries. It directed the state and central pollution control boards to come up with a common action plan to find a solution to the problem.
Earlier the green body was monitoring the pollution levels in the Yamuna only in Delhi. But after the Supreme Court transferred the case related to “And Quiet Flows Maili Yamuna” report to the NGT in April this year, the tribunal started monitoring the health of the river and all its tributaries and had been issuing directions from time to time.
The Yamuna travels over 1,376 km and passes through many states. Though only 2 per cent of the river falls in Delhi, it receives nearly 70 per cent of polluting effluents while passing through the Capital.
The green body on Tuesday held a chamber meeting headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar to review the status of the river’s pollution and actions taken by the Delhi government to date. Officials from all riparian states were present.
The NGT directed the Delhi Jal Board not to stop work on the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017’ under any circumstance without its permission. The project aims to bring down pollution levels in the river in Delhi.
The first phase of the project aims to bring down pollution in the Najafgarh and Delhi Gate drains, which contribute the maximum pollution. The second phase would tackle the Shahdara, Barapullah and other smaller drains.
The NGT was informed that at least 14 sewage treatment plants would be commissioned by May 2019 in phase-I. These would treat around 67 per cent of the river pollution coming from the two major drains. Work on phase-I of the project is running ahead of its schedule, the NGT was informed.
There are 21 major wastewater drains in NCT-Delhi out of which 18 drains join the Yamuna and three join the Agra/Gurgaon canal.