Revival model for Yamuna may vary from Sabarmati

Revival model for Yamuna may vary from Sabarmati

The restoration plan for the dirty Yamuna may not be a complete copy of the Sabarmati river front development project in Gujarat as the two rivers’ ecological models are different, say Delhi environment department officials who visited Ahmedabad for studying the Sabarmati revival model.

Delhi’s Environment and Forest Secretary Sanjiv Kumar said: “Both Sabarmati and Yamuna have separate ecological models and environment.”

“There cannot be a straight jacket solution...that we can copy and apply in the case of Yamuna,” he said.

Sources in the Delhi government said Delhi is better placed than Ahmedabad in terms of relocating slums from river banks. “We have very nearly freed the river bed of slums but in Ahmedabad this continues to be a challenge,” he said.

“The concrete wall along Sabarmati is used not only to channelise the river but also as a curtain to hide the slums abutting the river,” said an official source. No decision has yet been taken whether Yamuna will also get a concrete pavement and wall along the river’s entire length in the city as has been the case with the Sabarmati river front development, he said.

“The flow of fresh water in Sabarmati is slow which is one of the reasons for causing problems like water algae growth,” said another official, claiming that in Delhi they would not want a clean Yamuna to face a similar problem.

There are proposals to make Yamuna navigable like Sabarmati but Delhi officials said the source of fresh water in both the rivers may be different.

“In Delhi, the Yamuna is likely to carry treated sewage water, where as in Sabarmati fresh water from the Narmada dam is released to keep it alive,” said another official.
“The interceptor drains project in Delhi, for trapping and treating sewage before dropping it into the Yamuna, will be completed by June 2015,” said Sanjiv Kumar.

In Sabarmati river’s case, the sewage from drains that was falling into the river has been diverted into a large drain which runs parallel to the rejuvenated river and carries the sewage to treatment plants, said an official, adding that Ahmedabad has sewage treatment capacity in excess of its current requirement .

Delhi, on the other hand, is still short of adequate waste water treatment capacity.
The total waste water generation in Delhi is about 700 million gallons per day (MGD), out of which more than 80 per cent is domestic sewage and the rest is industrial waste.
The installed sewage treatment capacity in the capital is 604 MGD and the capacity utilisation is a low 60 per cent. To add to Yamuna’s pollution, 45 per cent of the sewage in authorised colonies is still untapped and falls untreated into the Yamuna.

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