The latest report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology,Environment and Forests has pulled up the Delhi government for spending only Rs 24.75 crore out of the Rs 44.27 crore granted by the Central government for the Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) II till June 2008.
The report terms the action taken by the government on the plan as tardy. We express serious concern over the tardy progress of the project and the low utilisation of funds, the report says. Though there is no dearth of funds for the Yamuna Action Plan,no satisfactory results have been achieved.
It appears a strange situation of being flush with funds but not having gone through with the plan or its deadlines,the Committee has noted.
Aiming to complete by 2009,the YAP II was launched in December 2004,but due to a series of delays,work was started only last year.
Now,the Delhi Jal Board,the main implementing agency of the plan,says it aims to get work worth Rs 60 crore moving by March. It says the river will be clean before the Commonwealth Games.
We are mobilising the work, DJB CEO Ramesh Negi says. We shall be allocating Rs 60 crore by March-end this year.
However,work on sewers can happen only after the monsoon when rains have subsided. But we will meet the deadline of cleaning the river before the Games, he says.
YAP is being undertaken through a loan from the Japan Bank of International Co-operation.
Studies by the Central Pollution Control Board have found that Delhi alone contributes 70 per cent to the pollution load of the river.
Experts say the main problem with cleaning the river that of sewage entering it is still the same.
The main issue of the Yamuna losing its life is that sewage enters the river. The first priority should be to decentralise the sewage treatment and make channels to divert sewage water for irrigation purposes. The main flow of the river should not be affected by sewage at all, Magsaysay Award winner and river and drainage expert Rajendra Singh says.
Though the YAP is spread over Haryana,Uttar Pradesh and Delhi,major allocation of funds is for Delhi a total amount of Rs 387 crore. So far,the UP government has spent Rs 32.47 crore out of the sanctioned Rs 40.91 crore.