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Little progress by Haryana in reducing Yamuna pollution: NGT committee

By Prayag Arora-Desai, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON DEC 31, 2020 10:03 PM IST

The Yamuna Monitoring Committee (YMC), appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), in its recently submitted fifth report to the NGT, has described Haryana’s progress in reducing pollutants entering the Yamuna river as “negligible”. The Haryana government had, in September last year, set December 2020 as the deadline for upgrading sewage treatment infrastructure, in fulfilment of long-pending instructions from the NGT.

However, random inspections of 24 sewage treatment plants (STPs) in Panipat, Sonepat, Rohtak, Bahadurgarh, Gurugram, Faridabad, Yamunanagar and Palwal over the past three months have revealed operational deficiencies in at least 16 of them. These 16 plants have an operational capacity of 452 million litres a day (MLD), against Haryana’s total sewage generation of 1,164MLD. “The SOP prepared for operation and maintenance of STPs are not being followed... the compliance status given by the line departments were incorrect and the officers of HSPCB being the regulatory authority are not performing their duty assigned under the Provision of Water Act, 1974/EPA 1986,” the YMC committee report notes.

The YMC also randomly inspected 12 common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) in these same districts and found none of them to be complying with pollution control norms. “Contrary to the claims of complying status by the Line Department, all these 12 Nos. of CETPs is found non-complying. The HSIIDC is constructing the CETPs without considering the effluent characteristics of the industries operating in the Industrial Estate,” the YMC has noted.

“Our last review of the matter was in January 2020. Since then, only an additional 1.2 percent of Haryana’s total sewage per day is being diverted to treatment plants. So any benefit, if at all, is negligible,” said a member of the YMC, requesting anonymity.

The official also pointed out that though STPs are being constructed in key areas, laying of sewer lines (particularly in Palwal, Rohtak, Karnal, Panipat and Faridabad) is progressing slowly. “This means that even if an STP is built, the sewage cannot reach the plant and is instead discharged into one of 11 major drains in Haryana that lead to the Yamuna. The BOD levels in all these drains were found to be in excess of permitted limits, and the latest available results were submitted to the NGT in June 2020,” the official added.

Faridabad remains the biggest polluter of all monitored locations, as per the YMC’s findings, with not a single functional STP in place. In all, Faridabad was found to be discharging 210MLD of untreated sewage in the Guanchi and Budhia drains, which lead to the Yamuna. Of the 1,164MLD of sewage produced in Haryana, at least 500MLD is untreated, while a significant chunk of the remains is only partly treated due to operational deficiencies with STPs.

While S Narayanan, member secretary, Haryana State Pollution Control Board, could not be reached for comment on Thursday, a senior district-level official said that a detailed reply to the YMC’s report would be filed soon before the NGT.

“As far as monitoring is concerned, we have already received orders from the head office to ensure stricter monitoring. It is up to various urban local bodies to ensure that their infrastructure — including STPs — are working. In all, Haryana remains a much smaller polluter than Delhi, which discharges nearly 3,000 MLD of untreated or partially treated sewage to the Yamuna directly,” the district official cited above said.

Officials of the Gurugram Metropolitan Development Authority could not be reached for comment.

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Gurugram health workers who had missed vaccine jabs on first two days can take them on January 21

By Archana Mishra, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 11:05 PM IST
More than 2,100 front-line healthcare workers, who could not be inoculated on the first two days of the Covid-19 vaccination drive, will be allowed to take the vaccine jabs on January 21, officials of the health department said on Tuesday
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SUV catches fire under Rajiv Chowk flyover; none injured

By HT Correspondent, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 11:05 PM IST
An SUV caught fire on Tuesday morning below the Rajiv Chowk flyover on the carriageway leading towards Manesar
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HSVP to resolve road issues in sectors 81 to 95 on priority

By HT Correspondent, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 11:05 PM IST
The Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran (HSVP) has decided to resolve all land-related issues in sectors 81 to 95 in order to make roads operational soon
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Population of migratory birds up at Najafgarh jheel, finds census

By Prayag Arora-Desai, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 11:05 PM IST
Eighty one species of waterfowl, including 13 species red-listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), were recorded in a census at the Najafgarh jheel
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Low visibility, rash driving led to 116 accidents in the last two weeks

By Leena Dhankhar, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 11:04 PM IST
Low visibility and rash driving have led to a spate of accidents on Gurugram roads over the last two weeks, with at least 116 incidents being reported from 15 spots, according to the police data
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No respite from chilly weather, foggy conditions, says IMD

By HT Correspondent, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 19, 2021 11:04 PM IST
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Government agencies observe Road Safety Month

By HT Correspondent, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 11:30 PM IST
To prevent road accidents and improve safety for commuters, government agencies in the district started observing Road Safety Month on Monday
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Haryana Police deploys 500 personnel ahead of farmers’ rally on Republic Day

By Leena Dhankhar, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 11:30 PM IST
Haryana Police on Monday deployed 500 personnel on the borders connecting Rajasthan, Nuh and Gururgam, after protesting farmers announced that they would join the tractor rally in Delhi on Republic Day
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Wazirabad residents launch protest against construction of crematorium

By Abhishek Behl, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 11:27 PM IST
After failing to get any response from the authorities, the residents of Wazirabad village have launched a protest to oppose the move by Haryana Shahari Vikas Pradhikaran(HSVP) to develop a large crematorium adjacent to their village
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Class 7 student of private school in police cross hairs over threatening emails sent to girl students

By Leena Dhankhar, Gurugram
UPDATED ON JAN 18, 2021 11:29 PM IST
The police are probing the involvement of a class 7 student of a prominent private school in the city, in allegedly threatening to kill his classmates in emails sent to at least two girl students on January 5, senior police officers said on Monday
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Requirement for health certificate a deterrent, say parents

By HT Correspondent, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 11:27 PM IST
Parents of children studying in private schools in the city said that the requirement of obtaining a medical certificate, clearing students of any Covid-19 symptoms, was acting as a deterrent in attending classes
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Pilot dies in collision while returning home late Sunday

By Leena Dhankhar, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 11:27 PM IST
A pilot of Indigo Airlines was killed in a road accident in Sector 114 late Sunday, when the car he was driving was rammed by a speeding truck-trolley that was moving on the wrong side of the road
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Technical glitches on CO-WIN platform continue on day two of vaccination drive

By Prayag Arora-Desai, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 11:27 PM IST
Issues with Co-WIN (Covid-19 Vaccine Intelligence Network) application — designed to streamline the delivery of Covid-19 vaccines — continued to persist on day two of the ongoing inoculation drive
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Covaxin has few takers on second day of vaccinations in Gurugram

By Archana Mishra, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 11:27 PM IST
Only 35% of the 436 healthcare workers for whom Covaxin vaccine was allocated attended the vaccination drive on Monday, which was much lower than the average total turnout of around 60%
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RT-PCR tests to cost 499 in Gurugram

By HT Correspondent, Gurugram
PUBLISHED ON JAN 18, 2021 11:26 PM IST
The price of the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), considered the gold standard test to detect Covid-19, was brought down to 499 in Haryana
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