New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal has favoured reduction of charges for sewerage connections in unauthorised colonies here and asked Delhi Jal Board (DJB) to publicise their benefits, saying this was necessary for curbing pollution of river Yamuna.
The green panel directed DJB to mull over offering incentives to people to attract them to take sewerage connections in unauthorised colonies.
"Taking of sewerage connection by individuals, particularly in unauthorised colonies, is most preferential method of controlling direct sewerage pollution of river Yamuna."
"It is only when the sewerage connections are provided, the sewerage can be brought to the proposed sewage treatment plant (STP) for treatment and consequent re-utilisation and recycling before being discharged into Yamuna," a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said, while monitoring implementation of its "Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017".
On the issue of sewer connection charges, Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand, appearing for DJB, told the bench that the Board has not yet taken a final decision.
A principal committee, constituted by NGT in January, had suggested that the current practice of collecting Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 must be dispensed with, as such high charges dissuaded people from getting the connection. It suggested that the charges be reduced to Rs 2,000-3,000 per connection.
Last month, the Aam Aadmi Party government had declared 80 per cent reduction in one-time sewer and water development charges for new connections.
According to the new rates, water development charges were reduced from Rs 440 per sq m to Rs 100 per sq m while the sewer development charges have been brought down from 494 per sq m to Rs 100 per sq m.
The revised rates will be valid only till September 25, 2015 and thereafter, original rates will be applicable.