Cleaning Yamuna ‘top priority’, says Kejriwal

Govt. constitutes Yamuna Cleaning Cell to overcome complex network of multiple agencies

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday approved the formation of the Yamuna Cleaning Cell, terming the cleaning of the river a “top priority”. The cell will expedite the Delhi Government projects on cleaning the river and overcome any administrative hurdles, he said.

Mr. Kejriwal had recently announced that the Government would clean the Yamuna by February 2025.

Additionally, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) will take over the operations and maintenance of the common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) to prevent industrial waste from falling into the Yamuna. Drains from JJ clusters will be diverted to sewage treatment plants (STPs) to eliminate untreated discharge in storm water drains.

Review meeting

The CM chaired a high-level review meeting on management of wastewater from industrial areas and JJ clusters in respect of cleaning the Yamuna.

“In order to expedite inter-departmental decision making and execution, we have formed a Yamuna Cleaning Cell (YCC) today, headed by CEO, DJB and representatives of all concerned departments. This will expedite the Yamuna cleaning process” Mr. Kejriwal tweeted.

Mr. Kejriwal instructed officials to leave no scope for loopholes in the action plan.

“There can be no compromises with the prioritisation of the Yamuna cleaning and water supply in this term. They have to be our highest priorities,” he was quoted saying.

A major hurdle being faced by the Government so far, he said, is a complex system of multiple agencies. “To overcome that, we are setting up the cell that will oversee the working of all the agencies. It will help us identify and delegate responsibility and streamline our projects,” he said.

“For instance, if an issue is being faced because of the electroplating industries or some other polluting works, the cell would have to take care of that,” Mr. Kejriwal said.

The cell will consist of six senior officials of the DJB, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, Delhi Pollution Control Committee, and Department of Irrigation and Flood Control looking after the sewerage systems of JJ clusters and industrial clusters, CETPs, industries violating pollution norms, Yamuna cleaning projects, and in-situ treatment.

These officers will report to the DJB CEO and also be responsible for the execution of the decisions taken by the cell.

Sewerage systems

The cell will further take over the responsibility of the sewerage systems of JJ clusters, industrial clusters and CETPs.

It will also be jointly responsible for all the action points of the Yamuna cleaning, which include construction of new STPs/DSTPs, upgrade of existing STPs to the tune of 10/10 and capacity augmentation, and laying of sewerage network in 1,799 unauthorised colonies.

The other functions of the cell in this regard, the Government said, will be septage management, removal of silt in trunk/peripheral sewer lines, providing sewer connections in notified areas, trapping of 108 drains under ISP, and in-situ treatment of drains.

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