NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal has granted more time to Yamuna Monitoring Committee (YMC) for submitting its report on cleaning of the river as the stakeholders were unable to submit their response due to coronavirus lockdown.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice A K Goel noted that in view of lock-down due to Covid-19, the parties including the Delhi Development Authority and the Chief Secretaries of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh have not been able to give their respective response to the committee.
The Yamuna monitoring committee, which comprises retired NGT expert member B S Sajwan and former Delhi chief secretary Shailaja Chandra, sought more time to submit report.
"We are of the opinion that time needs to be extended.
The concerned parties may now furnish their response to the YMC expeditiously but positively on or before May 31, 2020.
The Committee may give its report thereafter at the earliest and but latest by June 30, 2020 by e-mail even if response of concerned parties is not received as expected.
The report may indicate in tabular form the progress achieved, the issues which still remain pending and the roadmap for further course of action with timelines," the bench said.
The water quality in the Yamuna here has "improved significantly" during the lockdown due to an increase in fresh water availability and absence of industrial effluent, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) had earlier said.
The YMC had earlier this month asked the CPCB and the DPCC to conduct tests to ascertain if the water quality in the river had improved due to the lockdown.
The committee had said there was a significant increase (5 to 6 fold) in fresh water availability downstream of Wazirabad during April which helped in the dilution of the pollution caused due to waste water from major drains like Najafgarh and Shahdara.
The CPCB report also pointed out that the fresh water availability in the Yamuna, which was less than 1,000 cusecs prior to the lockdown, increased more than fivefold downstream of Wazirabad during the lockdown.
The DPCC report -- based on samples collected at nine stations along the river and at 20 stations on the drains -- said the BOD (Bio-Chemical Oxygen demand) concentrations improved from 20 to 33 per cent at ITO, Nizamuddin, Agra canal Jaitpur, Okhla barrage (upstream) and Okhla.