SC seeks report on Yamuna pollution
After 22 years of Supreme Court monitoring and spending around Rs 4,439 crore, Yamuna continues to stink like a sewer in Delhi.
The Court decided on 20 February 2017 to act tough against the authorities entrusted the task to clean the river and sought a comprehensive report from city Jal Board on operation of interceptor sewage projects(ISP) and sewage treatment plants (STP). A bench of Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices D Y Chandrachud and Sanjay Kishan Kaul directed Delhi Jal Board to file the report within two weeks, giving details on status of all projects aimed at checking pollution of Yamuna.
- The Chief Engineer of DJP told the bench that 85% of ISP work has been done and the project would be operational by end of March. He said the Board was making all efforts to complete the project as soon as possible. The court, however, asked him to file a report on the present status of the project and also regarding operation of drainage and sewage treatment plants..
- Between 1994 and 2012,(when the apex court took up monitoring of steps to reduce pollution in Yamuna), Uttar Pradesh has spent Rs 2,052 crore, Delhi government and its civic bodies Rs 2,387 crore and Haryana Rs 549 crore to clean the river, taking the total to Rs 4,988 crore.
- Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae since 1994, told the bench that the task of cleaning had become difficult as the amount untreated sewage flowing into Yamuna had grown exponentially over the year, which was, at present 1500-1600 million gallons per day.
- Anguished by the unfruitful attempts by the governments of Delhi, UP and Haryana in reducing pollution in Yamuna, the court sought details on how much and where the amount was spent during the last two decades to clean the 22-km stretch of Yamuna passing through Delhi.
- Giving details of its expenditure, Uttar Pradesh government had told the court that it had spent Rs 4,124 crore on making the river's water potable. The New Delhi Municipal Committee and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi had spent an additional Rs 315 crore on cleaning the Yamuna.
- DJB had told that expenditure incurred by it towards controlling and preventing the pollution of river Yamuna was approximately Rs 2,072 crore. NDMC said it had spent Rs 140 crore while MCD had pegged its expenses at Rs 175 crore towards cleaning the Yamuna.