Staff Reporter

Delhi Jal Board has begun drafting its action plan

NEW DELHI: With the Supreme Court endorsing its proposal to set up "interceptor sewers" to clean up the Yamuna, the Delhi Jal Board on Wednesday said the river would show signs of improvement once its plan is implemented.

The water utility, which has begun the process of drafting its action plan to be submitted to the Supreme Court in July, said it was also open to "outside suggestions and consultations".

Responding to criticism of the interceptor sewer plan, DJB Chief Executive Officer Arun Mathur said: "Even the amicus curie who was initially doubtful has said that the DJB should take further inputs and move head."

Mr. Mathur who was part of the expert committee set up by the Supreme Court to study the concept of interceptor sewage said: "The endorsement by the expert committee implies the support for the concept by the Union Ministries of Environment and Forests, Water Resources and Urban Development and IIT Delhi."

Highlighting the achievability of the plan, Mr. Mathur said: "There will be an improvement of 80 to 90 per cent in the quality of the river over the next three to four years."

Concerns raised over the finances required for the scheme were also described as "unfounded" by the CEO. "As against the financial implications of around Rs. 4,643 crore for the earlier scheme, our scheme of the DJB's plan will involve a maximum of Rs. 2000 crore."

To save the river from further deterioration and to resuscitate its waters, the Board has proposed laying of interceptor sewers along three major drains -- Najafgarh, Shahdara and supplementary drains - to prevent spillage of untreated waste from 17 drains in the city into the Yamuna. This apart, the plan calls for augmentation of the existing capacity of sewage treatment plants at the mouth of the Delhi Gate drain and Dr. Sen Nursing Home, intercepting 13 smaller drains into the Bela Road and Ring Road trunk sewer after rehabilitation and construction of additional STPs.

"Our plan will not only save the river, but will prevent untreated effluents from being carried across the city," said Mr. Mathur.