L-G reviews Yamuna plan, assigns responsibilities to public agencies

If all goes according to plan, the Yamuna will be restored to its glory of yore. Lieutenant-Governor Najeeb Jung has made the holistic development of the river the foremost priority of the administration.

At a review meeting at his office here on Tuesday, Mr. Jung assigned responsibilities to various public agencies to achieve this goal.

As part of a Delhi Jal Board scheme to provide water and sewerage facilities to almost 3,000 unattended residential clusters and thereby reduce direct discharge of effluent, several projects were proposed.

These include laying a 59-km-long interceptor sewer along the supplementary Najafgarh and Shahdara drains; completely internationalising the interceptor sewer between Aruna Nagar slums and the outfall of Khyber Pass drain and the Metcalf House, Qudsia, Mori Gate, Tonga Stand and Civil Military drains will be connected to the Ring Road trunk sewer. The first step is expected to reduce pollution load by 70 per cent.

In addition to these, capacities of sewage treatment plants (STPs) will be augmented, sewers will be completely rehabilitated in order to exploit the full 604 million gallons per day capacity of the STPs. This is expected to take three years. Several other projects include connecting 163 previously unconnected colonies to the sewer system and this will cost the board Rs.25,000 crore.

Clear roles

Clear demarcation of roles of Delhi’s agencies, in addition to those of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, is expected to expedite the process of cleaning up the river.

The Public Works Department has reportedly requested the L-G to push for a unified Yamuna Development Authority. Recently Delhi’s water-related bureaucracy visited Ahmedabad to study the development of the Sabarmati.

What makes the Sabarmati model not completely suitable for the Yamuna is that the former is fed by the Narmada. Delhi, however, has no access to additional clean water to supplement the flow of the Yamuna in the 22-km polluted stretch of the river within the Capital.

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