Green tribunal imposes Rs 5,000 fine for throwing religious items into Yamuna

After clean Ganga project it is time to be serious about saving the Yamuna river

GN Bureau | January 13, 2015


Polluted river Yamuna in Delhi
Photo: Arun Kumar

After the clean Ganga programme announced by prime minister Narendra Modi, the National Green Tribunal on Tuesday took a small step and decided to set up a committee to plan on cleaning up River Yamuna. In the meantime, it has ordered the administration to impose fine on those who throw religious items into the Yamuna.

Those caught in the act of littering will have to pay Rs 5000.

The decision has been taken as the NGT took the view that discarding religious items in Yamuna is choking the river's ecosystem.

Since the inception of the National Ganga River Basin Authority, 76 schemes at a total cost of Rs 5,004.19 crore for cleaning the rivers have been sanctioned in 48 towns in the states through which the Ganga passes. The Union government has been implementing Yamuna Action Plan (YAP) for cleaning of Yamuna river with assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency, without much success.

The NGT order to collect fines from people who throw items into the river means there is ban on throwing of these items. Despite explicit messages being put up by various agencies and ban on throwing religious items into the river, Indians continue to indulge in such practice.

In 1993, a two-phase plan document was signed by India and Japan. Under the first two phases of Yamuna Action Plan, the cleaning of polluted Yamuna is being carried out along with the level of the biological oxygen demand of Yamuna. A total of 286 schemes including 39 sewage treatment plants have been completed in 21 towns of Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi to clean Yamuna river since 1993.

The pollution abatement works implemented by the central and state governments have helped in improving the water quality in some locations and checking the pace of deterioration in others. The water quality of river Yamuna is less than the desired level in some stretches due to sewage treatment capacity and lack of fresh water in the river.

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