The Delhi Jal Board (DJB) has withdrawn its plea in the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that sought directions to the Haryana government, to check the ‘dangerous level of ammonia’ in the Yamuna, saying the issues raised in it have been amicably settled. A bench headed by acting NGT chairperson justice Jawad Rahim, also directed all the stakeholders to file a brief statement of compliance of the directions on Yamuna cleaning, by July 25, 2018, the next date of hearing.
“The senior counsel HS Phoolka, appearing for the Delhi Jal Board, is present and submits that the plea filed on behalf of the Delhi Jal Board are not pressed, as they have become infructuous in view of the fact that presently, the issues have been amicably settled and discussion is in progress, for future provision. Submissions taken on record. The miscellaneous applications stand disposed of as withdrawn, with no order as to cost,” the bench said.
The tribunal had earlier slammed the DJB, over its submission that Haryana was responsible for the high levels of ammonia in the Yamuna water being provided to the national capital and observed that the river had been reduced to a sewer line in the city. Asking the DJB what it had done to clean the river water, the bench had made it clear to the body that it was only concerned with the pollution in the river and would not go into the issue of water sharing dispute between the two states.
Earlier, the tribunal had directed the Haryana government to submit an action plan, to address the issue of ammonia and other pollutants in the Yamuna. The NGT had directed the Delhi and Haryana governments to identify and address the sources of pollution in the river. It had also ordered the Delhi and Haryana governments to hold a meeting, to resolve the issue of high ammonia content in the water being provided to the national capital.
The DJB had moved a plea in the tribunal, alleging high ammonia in water being provided by the Haryana government to Delhi. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) had submitted its analysis report of ammonia at Tajewala in Haryana, Wazirabad water treatment plant, Okhla and ITO Barrage in Delhi. Acting on concerns over the health of the people of Delhi, the tribunal had directed the CPCB to analyse the samples of the river water at the four points. While the DJB had alleged that Haryana was supplying ‘poisoned sewage water’ to the national capital, which had 2.6 parts per million of ammonia, the counsel for Haryana had refuted the contention and said there was no breach of any agreement.
The DJB, which supplies water to the city, had approached the tribunal demanding that Haryana be asked to take urgent steps to check the ‘dangerous level of ammonia’ in the Yamuna. Claiming that the water being released by the state was so polluted that it cannot be treated for drinking, the DJB had said it may cause ‘a huge and irreparable loss to the citizens of Delhi and had the potential for a grave health crisis and water crisis in the National Capital Region (NCR)’. The petition also claimed that when the water entered Haryana, the ammonia level was nil and very much treatable, whereas when the water entered Delhi, the level was very high.