New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday directed the Central government to bear 70 per cent of the cost for constructing 14 Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) under the first phase of the Yamuna river revival project which has been delayed by over eight months due to lack of cooperation among agencies and a fund crunch.
The bench, headed by NGT Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar, also directed the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to bear the remaining 30 per cent of the cost.
“For sewage management in Yamuna at Delhi, NMCG and DJB will share 70-30 per cent of the cost.
“If the cost exceeds 30 per cent, then the Delhi government will provide financial assistance to the DJB,” Kumar said.
Currently only active on papers, the “Maily Se Nirmal Yamuna” plan aims at treating the sewage and waste water reaching Yamuna through drains.
Under the first phase, supposed to have been completed by March 31 this year, 14 STPs are to be made at Najafgarh drain and Delhi Gate — the most polluting.
More STPs are to be constructed at other drains along the Yamuna under Phase-II that will include drains along Shahdara, Barapullah and others.
The DJB had earlier said that it will construct seven out of 14 STPs, and expected the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to extend financial support — the major cause of delay.
At present, DJB has started working on five STPs while a survey is being done for the other two. The estimation of Phase-I of the project, under which 14 STPs are to be built, is still unclear.
The tribunal, in a January 2015 judgment, ordered to deal with all components of controlling and preventing pollution in the Yamuna.
The green panel had noticed that almost 67 per cent of the pollutants reaching the Yamuna would be treated by the two sewage treatment plants at Delhi Gate and Najafgarh in Phase-I.
The Yamuna traverses a distance of about 46 km along Delhi.
According to the Central Pollution Control Board, while the river’s stretch between Wazirabad barrage to downstream Okhla barrage is less than two per cent of the entire river stretch, it receives around 70 per cent of the total pollution load there.