Directives and Panel of NGT: Cleaning the River Yamuna

Directives and Panel of NGT: Cleaning the River Yamuna

Question: National Green Tribunal have directions to clean the river Yamuna under Maily se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalization Plan 2017. Recently, a NGT panel has also spoken about the need for environmental safeguards to rivers. Elaborate.

Directives of the NGT

• The principal bench of the NGT presided over by Chairperson Justice S. Kumar responded to a petition by Manoj Misra of the Yamuna Jiye Ahbiyan against pollution in the Yamuna and covering of drains in the city

• NGT imposed a fine of INR 5000 on persons throwing waste or religious items into the Yamuna river

• They also banned dumping of construction material into the river and imposed a fine of INR 50,000 on the violators of this order

• Real estate developers have also been restrained from carrying out construction work on flood plains

• States where the Yamuna and the tributaries flow were asked to come up with an action plan to ensure environmental flow for reviving the Yamuna stretch in Delhi
• Bench directed INR 4000 to be estimated by expert committee to be made available from INR 20,000 crore Delhi government Budget

• Bench also constituted a principal committee which will manage the implementation of the judgement

• Committee comprised Special Secretary of the MoEF, JS of the Ministry of Water Resources, Chief Secretary of Delhi, DDA Vice Chairman and commissioners of corporations and state secretaries of UP, HP, Uttarakhand and Haryana

• Members of earlier expert committees were also made members of the principal committee

• Union government has also been implementing YAP in collaboration with Japan International Cooperation Agency

NGT Panel Recommendations

• Committee constituted by NGT has indicated the use of fresh water should be prohibited and made an offence to maintain minimum environmental flow of the river Yamuna

• Principal committee headed by Secretary of the Ministry of water resources has given the following recommendations

• The tribunal has directed the committee and chief secretary of states through which the Yamuna passes to submit suggestions on issue of minimum environmental flow

• The committee has also suggested numerous measures for maintaining the natural “ecological” flow of Yamuna while it passes via the capital

• Committee has also recommended that sewage water must be mandatorily treated and supplied for industrial processes, railway and bus cleaning, fire fighting, city parks, construction activities etc

• Use of fresh water for such purposes should be prohibited and made an offence

• The flow of the river should further be augmented from the Hathnikund Barrage

• The setting up of a common effluent treatment plant with zero liquid discharge arrangement in industrial clusters near the Yamuna banks

• Industries should be banned from drawing fresh water from the ground or supply by municipalities

• This will save a massive quantum of fresh water and extra e-flow from Hathnikund Barrage can be released in the river Yamuna

• Water efficiency of agricultural practices should be increased for cropping and water usage

• Use of fresh water from rivers for irrigation should be discouraged; use of treated sewage from urban centres should be rewarded

• Indiscriminate extinction of ground water to meet cash crop agricultural needs should be curtailed by law as well

Facts and Stats

• Around 57 million people depend on the Yamuna for water

• An annual flow of about 10,000 cubic metres (cum) and usage of 4,400 cum (of which irrigation constitutes 96 per cent) means the river accounts for more than 70% of Delhi’s water supplies

• Around 630 litres per day of untreated sewage water is polluting the river on a daily basis

• State department of agriculture estimates that 12.5% of the Yamuna basin has forest cover, 27.5% comprises wastelands, 53% is agricultural land; the remaining are villages, towns, cities and roadways.
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