Little progress by Haryana in reducing Yamuna pollution: NGT committee

HT Image
HT Image
Published on Dec 31, 2020 10:03 PM IST
Copy Link
ByPrayag Arora-Desai, Gurugram

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.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP-JJP government has set a lofty target to diversify at least one lakh acre land under paddy cultivation to crops such as pulses, cereals, cotton and maize every year to check Haryana’s rapidly deleting ground water table (Representative Image/HT File)

    Haryana’s money-linked diversification drive:Area under paddy cultivation reduced by 10% in 2021

    Two years after it was rolled out, the Haryana government's financial incentive-linked diversification drive, has gained some ground with area under water-guzzling paddy reducing by 10% in 2021. As per official data, during the kharif season in 2021 crop diversification took place on 51,878 acres. As many as 62,562 farmers were paid 53.34 crore as incentive for opting for crop diversification. It came down to 14.60 lakh acre in 2021.

  • On Tuesday, the chief secretary, Arun Kumar Mehta chaired a high-level meeting about recruitments being made through the J&K Public Service Commission, Jammu and Kashmir Service Selection Board (J&K SSB), J&K Police Recruitment Board and J&K Bank in the UT. (PTI File Photo/ Representational image)

    Jammu and Kashmir SSB registers highest-ever recruitment in 2021-22

    The J&K SSB registered the highest-ever recruitment in 2021-22, since its inception, said the J&K government. On Tuesday, the chief secretary, Arun Kumar Mehta chaired a high-level meeting about recruitments being made through the J&K Public Service Commission, J&K Service Selection Board, J&K Police Recruitment Board and J&K Bank in the UT. “Previously, the J&K Service Selection Board recruited 8,580 and 8,115 candidates in 2009 and 2015, respectively.”

  • When Bhagwant Mann inducted Vijay Singla, a dentist, as the Punjab health minister, he was a surprise pick over several two-time legislatures and eight other doctor MLAs with higher qualifications than him. Singla was sacked over graft charges by CM Bhagwant Mann on Tuesday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

    Punjab minister sacked over graft charges: A dentist, green warrior & social crusader: Singla is ‘Mr Clean’ in hometown Mansa

    For the 52-year-old first-time AAP legislator and a dental surgeon Vijay Singla, who created history by winning the Mansa assembly seat by a record margin of 63,323 votes on the plank of 'political honesty', the downfall was as unexpected as his rise --- all this, in just two months after his induction in the Bhagwant Mann-led cabinet in Punjab. Singla had defeated the Congress nominee and popular Punjabi rapper Shubhdeep Singh alias Sidhu Moosewala.

  • The track is part of the 1,875-km Dankuni-Son Nagar-Ludhiana section, which has been termed as the Eastern Corridor. (HT Photo)

    Punjab section of freight corridor likely to be operational by year-end

    An 82-kilometre-long section of the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, extending from Sahnewal to Shambhu in Punjab, is expected to become operational by the end of the year. The 175km single-track section is spread across Ludhiana, Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala, Ambala, Yamunanagar and Saharanpur districts of Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh under the Ambala and Ferozepur divisions of the Northern Railways. It extends from Sahnewal in Punjab to Pilkhani in Uttar Pradesh.

  • A cop salutes during the wreath-laying ceremony of slain constable Saifullah Qadri in Srinagar on Tuesday. Police said that the cop identified as Saifullah Qadri was attacked by militants near Anchar when he was walking on the road along with his daughter outside his house. (Waseem Andrabi/ HT)

    Constable shot dead; daughter injured in Srinagar terror attack

    Militants on Tuesday attacked an off-duty police constable killing him and injuring his nine-year-old daughter at Anchar in Srinagar. Police said that the cop identified as Saifullah Qadri was attacked by militants near Anchar when he was walking on the road along with his daughter outside his house. “The terrorists involved in the killing of the cop will be identified and neutralised soon,” inspector general of police Vijay Kumar said.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, May 25, 2022