Expressing dissatisfaction with cleaning of the Yamuna river, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on July 12 directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to deposit Rs 50 lakh as performance guarantee for its failure to protect environment. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the failure of authorities is affecting life and health of citizens and threatening the existence of a major river like Yamuna.
The NGT asked the DDA to deposit the performance guarantee within two weeks and warned that in case of failure it would summon its vice chairman.
The green panel's direction came while perusing a supplementary progress report filed by a monitoring committee, comprising retired NGT expert member B S Sajwan and former Delhi chief secretary Shailaja Chandra.
The NGT bench, also having Justices S P Wangdi and K Ramakrishnan, said the efforts of the tribunal and the monitoring committee will be a waste if the authorities fail to take identified steps in a time-bound manner.
"No regulatory authority can remain mute spectator and must play proactive role in exercising their powers to sternly prevent such pollution. Any failure has to be dealt with strongly," the bench said.
The tribunal directed all the stakeholders in the Yamuna cleaning case to file their response on the report submitted by the monitoring committee within two weeks and posted the matter for hearing on August 23.
Advocate Kush Sharma, appearing for DDA, told the tribunal that as a part of the rejuvenation of he river Yamuna, DDA has notified 120 hectares of the Yamuna flood plain located downstream of the DND flyover.
He told the bench that DDA was regularly monitoring encroachments on Yamuna floodplain and it was in the process of installing an electronic surveillance system.
The tribunal had earlier also expressed dissatisfaction with the cleaning of river Yamuna and directed Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments to submit a performance guarantee of Rs 10 crore each within a month.
The green panel had said pollution in the Yamuna was of serious concern as it was highly contaminated with industrial effluent and sewage.
It had also asked the Haryana Pollution Control Board to conduct a study of water quality and the flow of Yamuna at the point it enters Haryana, and submit the list of industries located in the catchment area.
The green panel had noted that almost 67 per cent of the pollutants that enter the Yamuna would be treated by two sewage treatment plants at Delhi Gate and Najafgarh under the first phase of the the Yamuna Revitalisation Project.