The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Delhi government to acquire land under “emergency clauses of the land acquisition law” at three locations — Goyla Vihar, Tikri Kalan and Badu Sarai — in West and Southwest Delhi for the Delhi Jal Board’s (DJB) interceptor sewage project.
The project was conceptualised by the DJB as the solution to the Yamuna’s pollution. DJB vice-chairman Kapil Mishra explained, “The land in the three areas is for the interceptor project. The project has been delayed for a long time due to shortage of resources, both in terms of finances and land.”
In its order on Friday, the NGT noted that the DJB had submitted a proposal for acquiring land in the three areas. It directed the “NCT Land and Building Department, Delhi, to acquire the said land under the emergency clauses of the Land Acquisition Law and place it at the DJB’s disposal as expeditiously as possible”.
In addition, the NGT directed the DJB to take “possession of all the required land on which STPs are intended to be constructed at the earliest and not later than four weeks from today”.
Mishra said the lack of land had been a major stumbling block in creating new STPs. Though Delhi needs 15 STPs, only four are operational while another is under-construction.
“The DJB doesn’t have land of its own and that has been a problem. Now that the NGT has issued orders for the Delhi government to use the emergency clause to acquire the land, we will follow the directions,” Mishra said.
The interceptor sewage project was supposed to be completed before the 2010 Commonwealth Games but got delayed. It was finally inaugurated in December 2011. It was to be operational by 2014.
“The project essentially will look to lay parallel drains along the three major drains of Delhi — Najafgarh, Supplementary and Shahadra drains. They will intercept the sewage from the many smaller drains that flow into these three drains and carry it to the nearest STP. They will discharge the treated effluent back into the main drains,” an official said.