The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has submitted what it termed a “comprehensive” list of projects and initiatives under the River Yamuna Phase-II plan for substantial improvement of water quality of the Yamuna river to the National Green Tribunal (NGT). Two months ago, the green tribunal had asked the DJB to submit a complete project plan under Phase-II to address the 33-35 per cent of pollution entering the river.
The DJB, in its plan, has also named other authorities such as the DDA, the three civic bodies, the Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) Department and the Union Ministry of Water Resources as “stakeholders” in the project, and charged them with specific responsibilities.
For instance, the plan calls for a ‘Sludge Management Strategy’ on priority, where the solution should take into account the “resultant positive impact” on the river’s ecosystem. It has made the I&FC Department responsible for a detailed strategy for cleaning solid waste and water hyacinths from the river and its bank.
Further, the DJB, during its site inspections, noted: “Hutments, cowsheds/dairies, dhobi ghats and parking spots were observed on the left bank of the Yamuna within the floodplain boundary. These activities contribute to the pollution to the river..”
The DDA, meanwhile, has been made responsible for the action to effectively remove and manage these. The DJB has also laid out an action plan for itself to trap the 17 major drains such as Shahdara outfall drain, Barapullah drain and Maharani Bagh drain, among others, with set timelines.
“The DJB is undertaking many projects, including trapping of drains that fall directly into the Yamuna, improvement of existing conveyance system and rehabilitation of existing sewerage infrastructure,” the plan states.