City anchor: SC poser on Yamuna: Where has all the money gone?
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Noting that the Yamuna remains polluted despite crores being spent on cleaning the river, the Supreme Court on Tuesday sought a response from all stakeholders on "what fruitful purpose has been achieved" after putting in so much money.
"Where has all this money gone? We don't see any improvement in the water of the river... what is the use of this money," asked the bench of Justices Swatanter Kumar and Madan B Lokur, underlining that nearly Rs 12,000 crore had been spent in the last 18 years by the Centre, Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh governments and their civic bodies.
The bench asked Additional Solicitor General P P Malhotra to place before it by November 9 the Yamuna River Action Plan and any other plan, if formulated, to clean the river by resorting to correctional and preventive measures.
"The Union of India shall also inform the court whether the Yamuna River Development Authority, constituted by a notification in 2007, is still in place and operational. It shall also inform what steps have been taken by this authority and the extent of compliance," the bench said, also directing that the minutes of the Authority be placed before it.
The bench expressed dismay at the disclosure that as many as 18 drains from Delhi discharged untreated or semi-treated waste and other effluent into the Yamuna. The court was told that a prime reason for the problem was the existence of unauthorised and irregular colonies in Delhi, which indiscriminately dumped waste into the river directly or into drains that released water into the Yamuna.
The bench sought to know the status of the sewage treatment plants (STPs) and their capacity to treat water at different release points in Delhi. It asked the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to set up a two-member committee to check the efficacy of the 18 STPs operational in Delhi after visiting the sites.
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