Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena on Friday said departments concerned have agreed on a six-month action plan on eight parameters -- including augmenting sewage treatment and laying sewer network in unauthorised colonies -- to clean the Yamuna river.
The LG chaired the first meeting of a new high-level committee appointed by the National Green Tribunal for the cleaning of the Yamuna. The green tribunal had earlier this month requested the Delhi LG to head the committee.
"Chaired the 1st meeting of the high-level committee constituted by Hon'ble NGT for cleaning/rejuvenation of Yamuna on January 9. Attended by senior officers of the stakeholder departments/agencies of GoI & GNCTD, the meeting deliberated upon a concrete future plan of action (sic)," Saxena tweeted.
He said the departments have agreed on a six-month action plan on eight parameters, including augmenting sewage treatment, trapping and cleaning of drains, sewage network in unauthorised colonies and jhuggi-jhopri clusters, septage and restoration of the river floodplains.
Saxena told officers that the task at hand is difficult but achievable. He exhorted them to ensure the implementation of the decisions in a mission mode, without extending committed timelines.
He said any shortcoming on the part of officials will not be accepted.
Setting up the committee, the NGT had observed that substantial work remains unexecuted and there is still a huge gap between the generation of sewage and available treatment facilities.
It said the earlier directions of the tribunal regarding pollution in the river were not complied with.
The other members of the committee include the Delhi chief secretary; secretaries of the Delhi irrigation, forest and environment, agriculture, and finance departments; secretaries of the Union agriculture, environment and Jal Shakti ministries; the Central Pollution Control Board chairman; and the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) director general.
The committee has been asked to submit its first report to the tribunal before January 31.
The 22-kilometre stretch of the river between Wazirabad and Okhla in Delhi, which is less than 2 percent of the river length, accounts for around 80 per cent of its pollution load.
Untapped wastewater from unauthorised colonies and jhuggi-jhopri clusters, and poor quality of treated wastewater discharged from sewage treatment plants (STPs) and common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) is the main reason behind high levels of pollution in the river.
The Delhi government has promised to clean the Yamuna to bathing standards by February 2025.
The river can be considered fit for bathing if BOD is less than 3 milligram per litre and dissolved oxygen is greater than 5 milligram per litre.