Centre should be asked to accept, notify revised E-flow for Delhi stretch of Yamuna: NGT panel

Gaurav Saini
·2-min read

New Delhi, Jan 25 (PTI) An NGT-appointed panel for Yamuna rejuvenation has suggested that the green court direct the Ministry of Jal Shakti to accept and notify revised environmental flow for the Delhi stretch of the river as recommended by the National Institute of Hydrology.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, an environmental flow (E-flow) is the water provided within a river, wetland or coastal zone to maintain ecosystems and their benefits where there are competing water uses and where the flow is regulated. A study conducted by National Institute of Hydrology (NIH) has recommended that 23 cubic metre per second (cumec) water be released in the river from the Hathnikund Barrage in Haryana's Yamuna Nagar district instead of 10 cumecs in January and February (lean season) for sustaining downstream ecosystems. Earlier this month, the Haryana government said it was in 'complete disagreement' with suggestions to increase the quantum of environmental flow in the Delhi stretch of the Yamuna, as it can cause an 'environmental disaster' in the state.

In a tabular statement submitted to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), the Yamuna Monitoring Committee (YMC) said it should 'consider issuing directions to MoJS/National Mission for Clean Ganga to accept and notify E-flow recommended by NIH... this will set a benchmark/platform on which policy decisions may be taken'.

It said the ministry should be asked to prepare a monitorable action plan in coordination with other ministries, such as the agriculture ministry, and state governments to achieve the recommended E-flow. 'Without this, the policy intent may not be achieved,' the two-member panel, comprising retired NGT expert member B S Sajawan and former Delhi chief secretary Shailaja Chandra, said.

The YMC also suggested that the Central Ground Water Board and the Central Pollution Control Board be directed to continue to monitor the ground water level and its quality in coordination with the Irrigation and Flood Control Department during pre-monsoon, post-monsoon and lean season and submit reports to it.

In 2018, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that based on Singapore's NEWater model, treated sewage from Coronation water treatment plant will be taken to Palla, where the Yamuna enters Delhi, through a pipeline and released into the river.

The treated waste water will mix with the river water and travel downstream, undergoing natural purification and oxidation.

The Upper Yamuna River Board recently cleared the water augmentation project after discussing it for two years. PTI GVS NSD