Yamuna pollution: SC issues notice to Jal Shakti Ministry, DJB, others

Top court has already issued notice to Haryana and sought a report from CPCB identifying municipalities along the Yamuna which had not installed sewage treatment plants

Yamuna pollution: SC issues notice to Jal Shakti Ministry, DJB, others

Toxic foam floats on the surface of Yamuna River at Kalindi Kunj, in New Delhi. PTI file

Satya Prakash

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 10

The Supreme Court has issued notices to the Ministry of Jal Shakti, Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and municipal bodies of Faridabad, Prayagraj, Agra and Aligarh on cleaning of the Yamuna which remains polluted with high ammonia content.

The order came from a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde which had on January 13 taken suo motu cognisance of the matter after the DJB alleged that water containing high pollutants was being released in the river from Haryana.

The top court – which has already issued notice to Haryana Government on the issue – posted the matter for hearing after four weeks in view of a letter circulated by advocates-on-record for the parties seeking adjournment.

On January 19, it had asked for a report from a National green Tribunal (NGT) committee on improving the water quality of the Yamuna and the action taken on its recommendations after amicus curiae and senior advocate Meenakshi Arora said the NGT-appointed panel has been monitoring the cleaning of the river.

The NGT had in July 2018 set up a monitoring committee comprising its former expert member BS Sajwan and former Delhi chief secretary Shailaja Chandra on the Yamuna cleaning and asked it to prepare an action plan.

The court had taken suo motu cognizance of the matter after the DJB pointed out that the water released by Haryana into the Yamuna had pollutants, including high ammonia content which becomes carcinogenic after mixing with Chlorine.

The DJB usually halts water supply in Delhi after the ammonia content in water rises. It has moved the court seeking a direction to Haryana to ensure that pollutant-free water was released in the river. They have to keep an ammonia treatment plan in Haryana and even the National Green Tribunal had said their STPs are not working at Sonepat which is upstream, Arora had said.

Maintaining that pollution-free water is a fundamental right which a welfare state is “bound to ensure”, the Bench had asked the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to submit a report identifying municipalities along the Yamuna which had not installed sewage treatment plants.

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