Supreme Court frowns over lax Yamuna clean-up

New Delhi The Supreme Court on Tuesday fumed over the fact that even after spending hundreds of crores of rupees, untreated effluent was flowing into river Yamuna and departments mandated to check pollution were fighting each other.

"It appears things have gone from bad to worse," the court observed.

"We express our anguish at the way public authorities are dealing with such a serious subject. There is no co-ordination, co-operation and compatibility between these public authorities. As a result, the court is unable to proceed in the matter effectively," the court said.

The apex court bench of Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Madan B. Lokur noted that the submission by the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) counsel that 22 per cent work for making an interceptor drain, for treating sewage before its outfall in the river, had been done. However, this fact is not accepted by all.

"It is important for this court to take this matter to its logical conclusion and not permit state authorities and its officers to leave it mid-way particularly when thousands of crores have been spent by the union of India and other public bodies," said the judges.

While frowning at the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and other departments of the Delhi government, the court sought the assistance of directors of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) at Roorkee and Delhi.

"We find that a stage has come that technical experts should be involved for ensuring the completion of the project. Let director, IIT-Roorkee, and director, IIT-Delhi, remain present in the next hearing," the court said.

Taking exception to the conduct of DJB, the court order said: "The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has filed a report as a result of joint inspection but the report is not signed by the DJB. Whatever the reason, this is not an encouraging aspect of the matter."

"Let the DJB file its comment on the report within four days," the court said.

"We are concerned with the quality of water. This aspect must be examined by all the authorities and they should put forward a proposal as to the extent of work that will be needed by Delhi to clean the Yamuna," the court said.

Story First Published: December 04, 2012 22:34 IST

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