Deploy territorial army to stop waste dumping into Yamuna: Panel’s orders to govt agencies

Detailed orders with specific tasks and timelines related to the rejuvenation of the Yamuna have been issued to several government agencies after the first meeting of the high-level committee (HLC) constituted by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) earlier this month.

These include deployment of the territorial army in Delhi to confront the issue of waste-dumping into drains of varying lengths and specifications leading to the river, among others. The NGT had, on January 9, constituted the HLC for the purpose and asked L-G V K Saxena to head it.

The committee met on January 20 for the first time to formulate an action plan and assess important parameters for the rejuvenation of the river, following which a detailed one was deliberated upon and finalised.

According to an L-G House official, crucial parameters on river health were accepted by the HLC. The plan finalised by the committee includes treatment of all sewage generated in Delhi, trapping of all major drains out- falling into the Yamuna and extending the sewerage network in all unauthorised colonies and JJ clusters.

It also included regulation of the Yamuna floodplain including removal of all encroachments and dhobi ghats, enforcement of Delhi Water Board Septage Management Regulations 2018, utilisation of treated STP water and upgradation of 13 common effluent treatment plants treating industrial effluents among others.

Orders, the official said, had been issued for 100% treatment of sewage generated in the city, construction of new sewage treatment plants at Okhla by June, Sonia Vihar by September and Delhi Gate within 12 months, and the completion of construction of 40 new decentralised STPs within a year.

Three existing STPs at Kondli Phase II, Rithala Phase I and Yamuna Vihar Phase II will be completed between June and September and upgradation of 18 existing STPs by March 2024. All drains out-falling into the Yamuna, including sub-drains, will also be trapped, according to the plan.

Out of approximately 200 km of the trunk or peripheral sewerage, 90.34 km will be desilted by June, and a fresh contract will be finalised for the remaining 110 km ‘at the earliest’ with the desilting of the entire network scheduled to be completed by September.

Out of the 18 major drains out-falling into the Yamuna, the trapping of 11 drains had been completed with the remaining as well as sub-drains, to be trapped latest by the end of October this year, the official said. To this end, extending the sewerage network in all the 1,799 unauthorised colonies and 639 JJ clusters in the city, sewer lines are to be laid by the end of December where possible and within a year where clearances are required.

While 558 JJ clusters are already connected with sewer lines, 16 others where it is feasible to connect them with sewer lines will be connected by June. At the remaining 65, where it is not feasible to connect them with sewer lines, decentralised modular/prefabricated DSTPs will be installed by June.

The Delhi Development Authority will undertake a major plantation along vulnerable stretches of the floodplains with a plan to this effect to be submitted by March and implemented by December in addition to undertaking a special drive to tackle unauthorised, illegal drains and nallahs falling into the Yamuna.

A company of the Territorial Army will also be provided by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) for ensuring ground-level enforcement and monitoring the identification of all the drains/sub-drains which are yet to be trapped in addition to convincing people not to throw their waste in drains.

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