IIT experts to suggest clean-up measures

Expressing “anguish” that Yamuna water in Delhi has become filthy despite thousands of crores being spent on improving its quality, the Supreme Court on Tuesday appointed a committee of technical experts. It was perhaps time to involve experts from the Indian Institutes of Technology to suggest clean-up measures, said a Bench of Justices Swatanter Kumar and Madan B. Lokur, hearing a petition.

It asked the Directors of IITs in Delhi and Roorkie to be present in the court on December 11.

Earlier, amicus curiae, Ranjit Kumar said Yamuna water in Delhi was nothing but filth with zero per cent oxygen.

Justice Lokur said it was not enough to deal with the problem in Delhi alone. There was need for ensuring that Delhi got sufficient flow of fresh water from the upstream under the 1994 Yamuna River Water Agreement. Unless this was done, installing over 100 sewer treatment plants (STPs) in the city would be of no use.

Justice Kumar asked all the parties involved in the effort to explore the possibility of taking all sewer water generated in Delhi to a place 30-40 km away from the city for treatment before letting it into the Yamuna.

The Central Pollution Control Board, which conducted a joint inspection of the STPs, said the civic bodies in Delhi had failed to implement most of the STP schemes and drain construction projects. The Bench, after perusing the board’s report, observed, “Things appeared to have gone from bad to worse.”

In a brief order, the Bench asked the Delhi Jal Board to file its comments on the report within four days. The court asked the Yamuna Project Committee, headed by the Delhi Lt. Governor, to file a status report on the work done by it so far. The court made it clear that it would not allow anyone to stall the projects and would rather take the “matter to its logical end.”

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