The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Thursday directed Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to constitute special purpose vehicle within two weeks for exhaustively monitoring all issues relating to the rejuvenation of river Yamuna.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice AK Goel said that the functions of SPV entity will include ecological restoration of the flood plain zones, setting up of bio-diversity parks, artificial wetlands, phytoremediation of drains at the river mouth locations, maintaining the vigil and undertaking flow measurement, creating ecological services, removing encroachments and undertaking other activities including riverfront development.
The NGT also said that the special entity may also take steps to attract and educate the citizens and nature enthusiasts for nature-related activities, including building environmental temper amongst the citizenry, without in any manner causing any damage to the flood plains.
After observing that report of the Yamuna Monitoring Committee (YMC) which highlights inadequate progress in compliance of orders of the Tribunal dated September 11, 2019, the bench directed all concerned authorities in Delhi, Haryana and UP to take further action expeditiously on the issues of sewage management, industrial pollutants, solid waste management and other issues, as per laid down timelines and to pay compensation wherever timelines have not been met which may be ensured by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).
The bench said Delhi Government may set up within two weeks from today an 'Integrated Drain Management Cell' (IDMC) under the Chief Secretary for remediation and management of all drains of Delhi.
It further directed that IDMC may prepare and execute an action plan on the subject of 'Alternate Technologies for Management of Waste Water in Drains' after appropriate techno-economic evaluation at its end in the light of reports of the CPCB referred to by the YMC.
The bench said: "A joint Committee comprising CPCB, NMCG, NEERI, IIT Roorkee and IIT Delhi may assess damage to environment, in monetary terms after the date of order of this Tribunal January 13, 2015, on account of degradation of river Yamuna, by continued inaction of the authorities in Delhi, Haryana (from Hathnikund till entry in State of UP), UP (upto Mathura), within three months from today. CPCB will be the nodal agency for coordination and compliance. The Committee will be at liberty to take such assistance from any individual(s)/institutions as may be necessary."
It also added that once setting up of SPV for River Front Management and constitution of IDMC as a single agency for remediation and management of all the drains in Delhi takes place, it should be possible for such SPV set up by the DDA and the Chief Secretaries of Delhi, UP and Haryana to directly monitor further steps, extensively laid down in the order of this Tribunal dated September 11, 2019, and the present order, in a time-bound manner.
The bench further said that Yamuna Monitoring Committee (YMC) may accordingly submit its final report on the status of compliance as on April 30, before the next date so that thereafter monitoring of progress of rejuvenation of river Yamuna and related issues is taken over by the SPV and the Chief Secretary, Delhi, by constituting an appropriate effective institutional mechanism directly under him for exhaustively monitoring all issues relating to rejuvenation of river Yamuna.
The bench said that it will also left open to the Chief Secretaries of UP and Haryana to have their own appropriate mechanism for monitoring. The Chief Secretaries of Delhi, UP and Haryana may place the mechanism so evolved before this Tribunal before the next date.
The bench listed the matter for further hearing on May 14.