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Yamuna floodplains: Resolve departmental issues and get work done, orders NGT

Yamuna floodplains: Resolve departmental issues and get work done, orders NGT

Above: Yamuna floodplains. Photo: Anil Shakya

The National Green Tribunal bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar has seemed a trifle handicapped in handing out verdicts regarding cleaning and beautification of the Yamuna floodplains, coming up against hurdles that often times are petty.

On Monday (December 18) the tribunal ordered authorities to rise above petty issues and get going in resolving whatever problems that remain within their respective departments.

On Monday the counsels submitted details with regard to operation of drains in Phase II. The project is being executed by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), under the supervision of the NMCG. The projects have already been approved and a major part of the work is covered under the ZAIKA Project. The grievance of the NMCG is that the DJB is not taking proper steps for carrying out the ZAIKA project. The counsel for DJB submitted that there was a delay because of departmental complexities. He said 11 drains have been intercepted by the DJB which has moved the effluents to another drain, ultimately taking them to the sewage treatment plant.

According to the DJB there is no discharge from the 11 drains into the river Yamuna, but the NMCG says that the pumps near the interception area not functioning properly.

That was when the bench said that all authorities were expected to rise above such petty issues and cooperate for achieving the bigger objective of cleaning of the Yamuna.

The bench also directed that the NCT Delhi, DJB and NMCG together should ensure that there is no delay in work under phase II and the ZAIKA project which has been financed by a foreign agency.

The following directions were passed:

  1. DJB shall with utmost priority start execution of all ZAIKA projects, particularly which falls under phase II. If there’s any default, the defaulting officer shall face the consequence.
  2. The DJB shall ensure that all the 10
    non-functional drains should be totally sealed so that there is no leakage. The DJB shall also ensure that all the pumps that have been installed are functional 24×7 and provided with continuous source of power.
  3. The Okhla STP is required to be upgraded and rehabilitated under the ZAIKA project

Finally, the bench ordered that all work should be completed within two weeks.

 India Legal Bureau