NGT appointed B.S. Sajwan and Shailaja Chandra as members of the committee.
New Delhi: A day after it observed that there has been no “meaningful progress” on the ground over cleaning of Yamuna in the past three years, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has formed a monitoring committee and directed it to submit an action plan on the issue.
The green panel on Thursday appointed retired expert member B.S. Sajwan and former Delhi chief secretary Shailaja Chandra as members of the committee and directed them to prepare an action plan by September and submit a detailed report by December 31.
The NGT also directed Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to hold a meeting on July 30 for identifying land for setting set up a sewage treatment plant (STP) on a drain, which falls under phase-2 of the Yamuna cleaning programme.
A bench, headed by NGT chairperson A.K. Goel, asked the Haryana and UP governments to assist the committee on Yamuna rejuvenation and take action against encroachments on the floodplains.
On Wednesday, while rapping the DJB over cleaning of the river, the NGT noted that the work on 14 STPs had not even begun. These were supposed to be completed by March 2017 as per the court’s January 2015 judgment. The STPs would treat the effluents and ensure no pollutants enter the river.
“In spite of proceedings in the case in the past three years, there is no progress at the ground level. It does appear that the present in-charge may not be competent enough to handle the issue. Today, we are in a failure situation,” the panel said.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the situation, the tribunal had directed the DJB chief executive officer (CEO) to appoint an officer who can ensure that work on the 14 STPs starts within a month and asked him to file an affidavit in this regard within two weeks.
The phase-1 of the project aims to lower pollution levels in Najafgarh and Delhi Gate drains, while the phase-2 deals with Shahdara, Barapullah and other drains, the National Green Tribunal said.
The DJB informed the tribunal that with regard to Phase-II, 11 drains have been trapped and effluents were being treated. It also said the work for trapping of three out of the remaining six drains will be completed by December 2020 and that for other two by December this year.
Pointing that pollution in the Yamuna was of serious concern as it was highly contaminated with industrial effluents and sewage, the bench had directed Haryana to file an affidavit on the steps taken to ensure that no untreated effluents flow into the Yamuna.