New Delhi: The Delhi government has embarked on an ambitious project to rejuvenate the Yamuna with an aim to rid the river of pollutants, stop discharge of all sorts of effluents into it and making its river-front beautiful as well as environment friendly.
The "Rejuvenation of River Yamuna" project is being implemented by the Delhi government with assistance from the Centre and the Delhi Development Authority (DDA).
Officials said assistance of the Netherlands in areas of its expertise like in river engineering and modelling, water resources management and pollution control to clean the Yamuna has been sought.
Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today chaired a meeting of the governing body of the Unified Centre for Rejuvenation of River Yamuna which is the nodal agency for implementation of the project.
The meeting was attended by representatives from ministries of Urban Development; Environment and Forest; and Water Resources; Central Ground Water Board, DDA, Delhi Jal Board, PWD, DMRC and Delhi government.
The plan to rejuvenate the river is being coordinated by DJB through its interceptor sewage project while the riverfront development has been entrusted to DDA which will set up biodiversity parks and recreational spaces.
Asking all departments and agencies concerned to work hard on the project, Jung instructed Environment Secretary Sanjeev Kumar to take steps through Delhi Pollution Control Committee to ensure that pollutants, especially from industries, are not allowed to flow into the Yamuna.
The Lt Governor underlined the need to increase the quantum of water in Yamuna and officials informed that dredging of lakes such as Bhalswa and Sanjay lake could help create capacity to store water during the monsoons. Jung directed the officials to start work on it immediately.
"The key objectives are to make river Yamuna into a thriving river, together with cleaning it and beautifying the river-front, which is at the same time environment friendly," said a senior official.
The Lt Governor reiterated the Delhi government's
commitment to Yamuna's rejuvenation and said it was high on priority.
"While DJB's interceptor sewage project shall be able to check 70 per cent of the sewage flow into the river, the sewage from other drains also needs to be intercepted to check pollutants from entering the Yamuna," he said.
The 'Unified Centre for Rejuvenation of River Yamuna' aims to ensure conservation, protection and rejuvenation of the river and to promote and secure the requisite development activities along it and its floodplains within Delhi.
Its mandate includes restoration of the river, making reservoirs for water augmentation within Delhi, cleaning of water and development of the floodplains besides trying to address certain interstate issues at appropriate level.
Officials said experts from the Netherlands will help in developing a marketing plan to promote inland waterway transport, cleaning the river and suggest measures for creating mega reservoirs.
They will also provide technical assistance in ensuring zero discharge and treating sewage besides developing an environment-friendly and "socially conscious" river-front.
The first phase of the project involves data collection and compilation, its analysis, identification of gaps and conducting requisite investigations and surveys, if required.
It also involves carrying out river engineering studies and water flow assessment management and suggesting measures for creation of water storage, navigation etc. A timeline of six months have been fixed for the first phase.