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Yamuna Action Plan Phase 3: Covid lockdown, air pollution-induced curbs, delay in nod slow down work

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New Delhi, Feb 21 (PTI) Work under the Yamuna Action Plan Phase III has been set back by up to two years due to delays in permissions from agencies, the lockdown and a temporary ban on construction activities to counter high pollution levels, according to a Delhi Jal Board report.

In the report detailing work progress till January 2022, the Delhi Jal Board (DJB) said the work was delayed due to a “delay in tree-cutting permission, nod from road-owning agencies, traffic permissions, EPCA ban and slow progress during the monsoon season”.

The DJB is the project executing agency for the Yamuna Action Plan Phase III, aimed at reducing the pollution load in the river in Delhi by treating domestic waste water, for which the Centre received funding from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2011.

“To reduce pollution in the Yamuna, YAP III is augmenting sewage treatment capacity with the renovation, rehabilitation and replacement of the existing sewerage system,” the report said.

The project focuses on rehabilitation of trunk sewers, rising mains and existing waste water treatment plants; improving the treated effluent quality to tertiary level; construction of a new waste water treatment plant at Okhla; and instructional strengthening and capacity building.

The project components fall in three drainage zones – Okhla, Kondli and Rithala.

According to the report, the rehabilitation of trunk sewer number 4 and Nawana Road, Anand Vihar, Hargovind Enclave and Vikas Marg sewers, which started on November 29, 2017 and was to be completed in November 2019, is now likely to be completed on February 28, 2022.

“Work was delayed due to delay in permission from road-owning agencies, traffic permissions at Vikas Marg and Narwana Road, EPCA ban in 2019, complete lockdown from March 22 to May 18 in 2020 and again from April 19 to May 31 in 2021 due to COVID-19. No work at site from July 1 to September 30 in rainy season as per the directions from DJB authority,” the report read.

The rehabilitation and upgradation of the Rithala Phase 1 waste water treatment plant of 40 MGD (million gallons a day) capacity to meet the new standards of effluents (BOD – 10 milligram per litre and total dissolved solids – 10 mg per litre) was to be completed by December 14, 2021. It is now likely to be completed by December 31, 2022.

“Work was delayed due to delay in tree cutting permission, EPCA ban, complete lockdowns due to COVID-19 and slow progress during the monsoon season,” the report read, adding only 54.9 per cent of the work has been completed.

The rehabilitation and upgradation of Kondli Phase 1 (10 MGD), Phase 2 (25 MGD) and Phase 3 (10 MGD) WWTPs to meet the new standards of effluents should have ended on February 9, 2022 but it has been delayed till the end of this year.

The laying of rising and pumping mains at various locations in the Kondli WWTP catchment area, which started in July 2018, was scheduled to be completed in two years. However, the construction agency could only complete it in December 2021.

“Work was delayed due to delay in permission from road owning agencies, DDA, horticulture department, traffic police, railways and resistance from local residents,” the report said.

The 22-kilometre stretch of the Yamuna between Wazirabad and Okhla, which is less than two percent of its length of 1,370 kilometres from Yamunotri to Allahabad, accounts for around 80 per cent of the pollution load in the river.

Untapped waste water from unauthorised colonies and jhuggi-jhopri clusters, and poor quality of treated waste water discharged from WWTPs is the main reason behind high levels of pollution in the river.

Delhi generates around 720 million gallons of waste water a day. The 35 STPs located at 20 locations across Delhi can treat up to 597 MGD of sewage and have been utilising around 90 per cent of their capacity.

On an average, 24 out of the 35 STPs in the national capital did not meet the prescribed standards for waste water over the last one year, according to government data.

Of the 13 common effluent treatment plants in industrial areas across Delhi, only six comply with the DPCC standards for waste water on an average. PTI GVS IJT

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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