Lieutenant-Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena on Tuesday pulled up the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) over “gross inaction and neglect” in desilting sewer lines, Raj Niwas officials said.
Chairing the third meeting of a panel on Yamuna rejuvenation appointed by the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the L-G asked the DJB to expedite the desilting of the entire 200-km length of the sewer network.
As per an official statement, officials from the Central and Delhi government departments pointed out that choked sewer lines were the biggest challenge in cleaning the Yamuna.
“Gross inaction and neglect on part of the DJB, which had not undertaken any desilting/cleaning work for the past 8-10 years, had resulted in the sewer lines getting choked. Now that the desilting exercise has started after the first meeting of the committee, it has come to light that the sewer lines were choked up to 80-90% than the earlier expected 40-50%,” the statement said.
It added that boulders and municipal solid waste were also choking the sewer lines due to open and unattended manholes.
The statement said while 90.34-km of sewer lines were projected to be cleaned by June this year, the remaining 110-km of lines were expected to be cleaned by September.
The L-G directed officials to take up the desilting work in a mission mode and complete it without extending committed timelines.
When contacted, the Delhi government spokesperson did not comment on the issue.
The NGT had formed a committee headed by the L-G in January this year and two meetings had taken place earlier. Officials said that the progress made after the previous meetings was also discussed at today’s meeting.
Other goals such as 100% treatment of sewage generated in Delhi, sewage network in unauthorised colonies and jhuggi jhopri (JJ) clusters, cleaning and maintenance of Yamuna floodplains, industrial effluent management, and faecal sludge (septage) management were also discussed at the meeting.