‘Begin demarcation of Yamuna floodplains’

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to undertake the process of demarcation of the Yamuna floodplains within three months and subsequently start work on the biodiversity parks.

The NGT also warned that in case of non-compliance of orders, a fine of ₹5 lakh per month will be imposed on the DDA till compliance of orders.

While hearing a plea on the rejuvenation of river Yamuna, a Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said, “The DDA may undertake physical demarcation of the entire floodplains within three months and thereafter, after taking repossession within the next three months, fence such areas and convert them into biodiversity parks.”

₹5 lakh per month

“The DDA will be liable to pay a sum of ₹5 lakh per month till compliance of this direction from April 2020 which may be recovered from the erring officers and deposited with the CPCB [Central Pollution Control Board] for restoration of the environment. The monitoring committee will look into the compliance,” the Bench said.

The green panel also directed the DDA to ensure that “no activity of edible crop or cultivation” on the floodplains takes place. The urban body was also directed to complete installation of CCTVs on the floodplains to prevent encroachment.

“The DDA to strictly regulate illegal dumping of malba or carrying the same to the floodplain by collecting compensation wherever violations are found and submit an action-taken report to the monitoring committee. The prohibition with regard to the throwing of pooja material or any kind of other material in river Yamuna except only designated sites to be ensured by the DDA, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana governments,” the Bench added.

Additionally, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) was directed to furnish monthly reports on the water quality.

“For failure to comply with this direction, the DPCC will be liable to pay environment compensation of ₹2 lakh per month to the CPCB for restoration of environment with effect from October 1, 2019. The amount can be recovered from the erring officers,” the Bench said.

Sewage treatment plants

The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) was directed meanwhile to prepare action plans with timelines for better “capacity utilisation” of sewage treatment plants by tapping drains as a short-term measure to curb pollution in the river.

“The DJB to complete the task of setting up of STPs by December 2020... Biodremediation or any remediation measures may start as an interim measure from January 2020, failing which the Delhi government may be liable to pay compensation of ₹5 lakh per month per drain to be deposited with the CPCB,” the Bench said.

The green panel added, “The operational deficiencies of the existing STPs must be rectified within three months failing which environmental compensation of ₹5 lakh per month per STP shall be deposited with the CPCB.”

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2021 4:39:26 PM |

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