NEW DELHI: The Centre has opened yet another front against the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, this time over Yamuna pollution.
In a letter to Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Union Jal Shakti Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat has lashed out at his government for showing no urgency for completing projects related to Yamuna cleaning despite the Centre extending all help.
The state government’s laxity has turned the river into a ringing drain, Shekhawat said in his letter on July 1.
Only two per cent of the Yamuna covers Delhi, but the city is responsible for 80 per cent of its pollution, the minister said, adding that all projects related to cleaning of the river are running 15-24 months behind schedule.
Expressing strong displeasure at the delay, Shekhawat said the central government has provided Rs 2,419 crore to the Delhi government for 13 projects for the river’s cleaning.
But, 3,500 million litres of dirty water is discharged daily from 18 drains in the national capital into the Yamuna without treatment, he said.
Assuring all possible help from the Centre, the Union minister in his letter expressed hope that the Delhi government would give priority to the river cleaning work.
The letter also questioned the delay in completion of Coronation Pillar Sewage Treatment Plant and grant of permission for tree transplantation for Kondli Sewage Treatment Plant Phase 2.
It further asked why the state government was yet to start work on seven proposed STPs to treat waste water from Najafgarh drain.
The chief minister’s office was contacted for the Delhi government’s reaction to Shekhawat’s allegations in the letter, but no response was received till late Friday night.
Polluting river a criminal offence, says NGT
Noting that law of the land makes discharge of pollution in water sources punishable criminal offence, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Haryana government to take remedial measures against discharge of industrial effluents at Hamidi village in Yamunanagar district.