Yamuna Resembles a Drain: SC

The Supreme Court today said all parameters of water quality of river Yamuna indicates that it more or less resembles a drain and asked authorities to make a joint effort to make it pollution-free.

"All authorities are expected to make some joint efforts to make Yamuna free of pollution," a bench of justices Swatanter Kumar and S J Mukhopadhaya said while asking the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to conduct a joint inspection on rising pollution level of the river in the national capital.

It asked the agencies to make the joint inspection along with the amicus curiae or his representative and submit the final report within three weeks so that the matter can be taken up for hearing on November 30.

The court noted the submission of CPCB counsel, Vijay Panjwan that the cumulative assessment of all parameters of water quality indicates that river Yamuna is not conforming to the desired levels and it more or less resembles a drain, especially after the Wazirabad area in Delhi.

CPCB also told the court that on the basis of information so far collected on inspection of the Yamuna, the river does not have fresh water.

Further, it said the national capital does not have a proper drainage system, which was a contributing factor in the pollution of the river.

The counsel said there are 30 sewage treatment plants but even they are underutilised to the extent of 37 per cent.

"Only 63 percent of the sewage treatment plants are operational at present in the region," CPCB said.

The apex court on October 30 had expressed anguish over tardy progress in cleaning of river Yamuna and appointed an expert committee to find out what has been achieved in the last 18 years by governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana after spending thousands of crores of rupees for the purpose.

The two-member committee, comprising of a member each from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Jal Board, to examine the feasibility of blocking the drains which discharge untreated waste water into the river.

The court was hearing the issue of cleaning up of Yamuna which it had taken suo motu cognisance of on the basis of newspaper reports way back in 1994.

The bench had lamented that despite spending huge amounts of money by the Centre and the concerned states to set up several sewage plants for treating the effluents being discharged into the Yamuna, the river water still had a high pollution rate.

It has also sought a report from the committee regarding the working condition of these plants and whether untreated waste can be stopped from being directly drained into the river.

Earlier, the UP and Delhi governments, along with DJB and the New Delhi Municipal Committee, had submitted before the apex court that they have together spent Rs 4,439 crore in the last 18 years to implement the apex court's directions to make the river water potable.

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