New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal today slammed the Delhi Jal Board over delay in construction of sewage treatment plants (STPs) in the capital.
"You have people and private agencies who are ready to work. Are you waiting for everybody to die of sickness? This is what you will contribute as a public body?" a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar said.
"You have a set mind of working. You are working on the lines of National Highways Authority of India which has taken 9 years to start working on Eastern Peripheral Expressway. You people should compete in Guinness world record," it said.
The observations came after DJB told the bench that it favoured awarding of contract for construction of STPs to private players and would "explore" the option available.
"What is there to explore? You people should think a little. There are agencies which are ready to work why don't you look out for them?" the bench asked.
The tribunal directed DJB to expedite the process of construction of STPs and asked it to discuss the issue with "technical minds" in order to restore Yamuna to its original status.
The DJB had told the tribunal that the "Maili se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Project 2017" would cost Rs 3,659 crore. Of this, the first phase will cost Rs 1,666 crore, the second Rs 1,390 crore and the third Rs 603 crore.
The tribunal had also directed that "every household generating sewage in Delhi shall pay environmental cess for generating sewage in order to fund the project as per polluter pays principle".
In January it had unveiled plan for restoration of river Yamuna under "Mailey se Nirmal Yamuna Revitalisation Plan 2017" and said establishment of STPs would minimise the discharge into Yamuna and provide water for horticulture and industrial purposes for which there is a great shortage in Delhi.
It had also directed DJB and other corporations concerned to ensure that the STPs be made fully operational and operate to their optimum capacity without compromising the quality of treated water released from them.