A National Green Tribunal (NGT) bench headed by chairperson justice Swatanter Kumar, on December 1, 2017, constituted a team of officers from the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the city government, who will jointly inspect a site at Dichaon Kalan village in Najafgarh, for setting up of a sewage treatment plant, to clean waste water flowing into the Yamuna. “We direct a joint inspection team, consisting of a senior officer of the DJB, Land and Building and Land Revenue Department of the Delhi government and representative of Valmiki Society, accompanied by chief engineer of DJB, to visit the site and report to the tribunal. They shall provide a written status report, duly signed by all the departments,” the bench said.
The order came after the representatives of the Valmiki community from the Dichaon Kalan village, told the bench that the land on which the DJB was planning to set up a sewage treatment plant, was a cremation ground. The AAP government had told the tribunal that the Valmiki community in the village were opposing the land acquisition process, as the plot was being used as a site for cremation. The matter was listed for further hearing on December 5, 2017.
The NGT had, on October 23, 2017, rapped the AAP government and the DJB, for not filing their replies to the show cause notices on why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them, for delaying compliance of orders on the Yamuna cleaning project.
The DJB CEO had then told the NGT that out of the total fund of Rs 1,755 crores allocated to the board, Rs 939 crores was for water and Rs 816 crores for sewage. Of this, Rs 351 crores had been spent on the sewage head on maintenance and the projects allowed by the committee constituted by the tribunal.
The tribunal was informed that a total of 14 STP projects are to be constructed, to clean wastewater. Of these, seven are to be built by the DJB with its own funds.
The green panel had said that pollution in the Yamuna was of serious concern, as it was highly contaminated by industrial effluents and sewage. It had noted that almost 67 per cent of the pollutants reaching Yamuna, would be treated by the two sewage treatment plants at Delhi Gate and Najafgarh, under the first phase of the ‘Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project’.