Delhi

‘NGT compensation fee will boost clean Yamuna plan’

The Yamuna, which travels through Delhi collecting garbage, sewage, construction waste, religious offerings and industrial effluents, may still have a chance to become pollution-free.

Environmentalists say the National Green Tribunal-imposed compensation fee to be collected by the Delhi Jal Board will boost efforts to clean the river, which has become choked by pollutants.

However, a recent study by the Central Pollution Control Board published in the Environment Ministry’s Annual Report (2014-2015) found that there had been no change in the water quality in the 40-km stretch it monitored.

“The study reflects that pollution level in the river is unchanged in spite of gradual reduction in pollution load contributed by the major drains in the National Capital Territory of Delhi,” stated the report.

It went on to add that the cause of deteriorating water quality, particularly in the stretch after Wazirabad barrage, was “unabated discharges of wastewater predominantly from domestic sources into the river”.

These polluting households are exactly who are being targeted by the new compensation structure. The DJB on Friday cleared a proposal to collect an environmental compensation fee from households that are not connected to its sewer network. The NGT had ordered on May 8 that Delhiites who do not pay for sewer facilities be charged the fee based on the ‘polluter pays’ principle.

As per DJB officials, the proposal is subject to approval of the Delhi Government, but the rates will vary from Rs.500 to Rs.200, depending on the category of the colony. Those who don’t have water connections will pay their local power discom, while others will deposit the fee with their water bills to the DJB.

Residents of un-sewered parts in A and B category colonies will have to pay Rs.500 per month, those in C and D colonies will have to give Rs.300, and in E to H colonies the fee will be Rs.200.

The NGT, while hearing a petition by activist Manoj Misra, had on January 13 given a judgment titled ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Plan 2017’. The compensation fee is one of the components of the NGT-monitored plan.

Mr. Misra, the convenor of the Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan, said: “With people getting directly linked with the progress of the river through their monetary contribution, they can hold the government accountable.”

Mr. Misra added that the amount collected by the government, through the DJB and discoms, would only be used for NGT-sanctioned projects, including new sewage treatment plants, extension of the network and repairs of old lines.

Activist Vikrant Tongad, of Social Action for Forest and Environment (SAFE), said the fee was welcome, but the government’s implementation of projects would be key in improving water quality.

“We have hope that if the NGT is monitoring the plan then we will see a real change in the river,” said Mr. Tongad, who has petitioned the NGT on water issues in the past.



The amount collected by the government, through the DJB and discoms, would be used for NGT-sanctioned projects, including new sewage treatment plants, extension of the network and repairs of old lines



Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Feb 17, 2020 1:33:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/ngt-compensation-fee-will-boost-clean-yamuna-plan/article7269244.ece

Next Story