Panel on Yamuna restoration suggests ban on use of fresh water

Panel on Yamuna restoration suggests ban on use of fresh water

A committee constituted by the National Green Tribunal has suggested that use of fresh water should be prohibited and made an offence in order to maintain the minimum environmental flow of Yamuna river.

The principal committee, headed by Shashi Shekhar, the Secretary in the Ministry of Water Resources, was constituted by the green panel on January 13 for implementing the "Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalization Plan, 2017".

The tribunal had directed the committee and the Chief Secretary of the states, through which the river passes, to submit their suggestions on the issue of minimum environmental flow.

The principal committee has suggested a slew of measures to be adopted for maintaining the natural "ecological" flow of Yamuna while it passes through the capital.

The committee has recommended that in all the urban towns situated along the river, the sewage water must be mandatorily treated and supplied for industrial processes, railway and bus cleaning, fire-fighting, city parks, construction activities etc.

"For such purposes use of fresh water should be prohibited and made an offence. This will save significant amount of fresh water which is today diverted from the river and to the extent that such fresh water is saved, e-flow in the river should be further augmented from Hathnikund Barrage, the committee said.

It also advocated setting up of common effluent treatment plant with zero liquid discharge arrangement in industrial clusters located near the banks of the Yamuna.

"These industries, therefore, should be banned from drawing fresh water from the ground water or supply by the municipalities. This will again save huge quantum of fresh water and to that extent additional e-flow from Hathnikund Barrage should be released in the river Yamuna.

"Agricultural practices shall be mandatorily made water efficient in terms of cropping and water use. Use of fresh water from rivers for irrigation purposes shall be discouraged and the use of treated sewage from the urban centres shall be encouraged and rewarded. Current practice of indiscriminate extraction of the ground water to meet cash crop agricultural needs shall also be curtailed by law," it said.

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