SC seeks details of Yamuna Action Plan

SC seeks details of Yamuna Action Plan

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

A bench of justices Swatanter Kumar and Madan B Lokur also asked the two-member
committee, comprising a member each from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and Delhi Jal Board (DJB), to examine the feasibility of blocking the drains which discharge untreated waste water into the river and submit its report by November 9.

The apex court, meanwhile, directed the Centre to place before it the Yamuna Action Plan.

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

The bench lamented that despite spending huge amounts by the Centre and the states concerned on setting up several sewage plants for treating the effluents being discharged into the Yamuna, the river water still had a high pollution rate.
It said: “All the agencies have spent crores of rupees. What is the purpose?”

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 this week, the Uttar Pradesh and Delhi governments, along with the 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

The submission was made before the court pursuant to its order directing Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Haryana governments to specify the exact amount of money spent on cleaning the river.

On October 10, the apex court, while expressing concern over the deteriorating quality of Yamuna waters, directed the Centre and the three state governments to furnish details of how much money had been spent by them to make the river pollution-free.

The court had also sought details of the drains discharging industrial and municipal waste water directly into the river and asked each state to provide information on the number of effluent treatment plants and sewage treatment plants on these drains.
The bench had said there has to be a comprehensive plan for tackling discharge of waste into the river and all the authorities concerned should work together.

The apex court has passed a slew of orders over the past 18 years for cleaning up of the river. 

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