The National Green Tribunal came down heavily on the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) for spending money on the Yamuna river without its permission, observing that despite spending heavily the pollution levels in the river have become worse. The tribunal had earlier restrained the board from spending without its prior approval.
“Despite heavy expenditure, in thousands of crores, having been incurred, pollution level in river Yamuna has, in fact, become worse. We had passed clear directions that out of planned expenditure no amount other than for maintenance purposes would be spend by DJB. It is told that some amount has been spending for drain integration.
“Let notice be issued to chief engineer of DJB who will file an affidavit stating if any amount has been spent in violation to our orders. The affidavit should be filed within one week from today,” a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
During the proceedings, CEO of DJB told the bench that expenditure on drain integration work was carried out in pursuance to orders of the Delhi High Court.
To this, the bench said, “You are frustrating the whole project ‘Maily Se Nirmal Yamuna’ Revitalization Plan, 2017 as well as our judgement. We had clearly said that you will seek our permission before doing anything. Why did you not inform HC about our order? You have your own philosophy. People are suffering. Your department is busy giving execuses.”
NGT also constituted a committee comprising of the secretary of Central Pollution Control Board and Delhi Pollution Control Committee, chief engineer of DJB and Delhi Development Authority and professor R Kosa from IIT-Delhi.
It has directed the said team to submit a report on the actual discharge from each drain that joins Yamuna and the measure load on points where Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs) are sought to be constructed under Phase-I of the judgement – Najafgarh drain to Delhi Gate drain.