DJB ties up with US varsity for Yamuna project

Initiative to start with cleaning Najafgarh drain, a major pollutant.

New Delhi: The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has entered into a five-year research collaboration with the University of Virginia (UVA) on the Yamuna River Project “to place riverfront restoration and development at the forefront of national consciousness.”

An exhibition to showcase the three years of work done by the university with the ministry of water resources and DJB will be unveiled at India Habitat Centre from March 29 to April 7.

The DJB and the university has in the first phase taken up Najafgarh drain basin, the largest of the three watersheds in Delhi with over 140 drains, followed by Barapulla and Shahdara. Presently, Najafgarh drain contributes to 60 per cent of Yamuna’s pollution.

Researchers from the university have visited various spots on the Najafgarh drain stretch. The project includes cleaning of the drain. It will be followed by “space making,” which means creating space in the vicinity of a water body and including it in the urban planning mechanism so people don’t litter around them.

“It will start with cleaning of the Najafgarh drain which has four components — cleaning water, sludge removal, solid waste removal, and cleaning septage. After that, the project will look into the issue of how the drain can be made into an integral part of Delhi so that it is visualised as an asset for the entire city. The idea behind this is to bring people closer to the water bodies,” said a senior official of DJB.

Meanwhile, the water utility is also undertaking a comprehensive strategy for rejuvenating over 200 drains and water bodies of the city, along with the Department of Irrigation and Flood Control. “Delhi Jal Board has initiated one of the most ambitious projects to be carried out in the water sector in the country, proposing a paradigm shift in approach by using sustainable bioremediation technologies to clean water and robust long-term management strategies to create city-level assets for all,” said a statement issued by DJB.

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