Delhi LG launches intensive campaign to clean Yamuna floodplains

New Delhi [India], February 16 (ANI): Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena on Thursday launched an intensive campaign to clean the Yamuna floodplains as part of the mega drive to clean and rejuvenate River Yamuna as mandated by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Saxena, along with East Delhi MP, Gautam Gambhir, President of Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), Sunil Sethi, senior officials of all government agencies and departments, students and city residents, launched the cleanliness drive from the Yamuna Flood Plains at Qudsia Regulator near ISBT, Kashmere Gate.

On this occasion, the Delhi LG also inducted a company of the Territorial Army into the Yamuna Cleaning Operations in Delhi, who will ensure that the stretch of Yamuna floodplains that has been cleaned, does not get encroached upon again.

The Territorial Army, provided by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG), will take over the operations from Friday.

In the first phase of this drive, cleaning of the stretch of Yamuna from Qudsia Regulator to ITO will be taken up and later on Yamuna Flood Plains upto Okhla Barrage will be cleaned.

As part of the drive, garbage mounds and all illegal encroachment on the Flood Plains will be removed. The agencies, under the guidance of LG, Saxena, will also introduce an innovative "Drain BOD Reducing" technique under which pieces of stones and lime-stones will be put along the drains falling into Yamuna at short distances.

These stone pieces will absorb the heavy particles, prevent it from falling into the river and oxidize the water, which in turn, will reduce the BOD level of water at that particular point.

The trial of the "Drain BOD Reducing" technique is first being done on ISBT Drain and gradually, it will be replicated at other locations. The agencies will also install a floating boom and conveyor system at the Qudsia Regulator Flood Plain to collect and remove the garbage from the river.

Saxena lauded the students for actively participating in the cleaning of Yamuna and described them as the Brand Ambassadors of the Yamuna Rejuvenation Mission.

Responding to the LG’s call, these students from Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University for Women and BR Ambedkar University vowed to lend their active support in creating awareness on Yamuna cleaning.

Speaking on the occasion, LG Saxena appealed to all stakeholders including the government agencies and the people to make concerted efforts to realize the dream of ‘Clean Yamuna’, which has been lying in a pathetic condition despite the direct monitoring of the Supreme Court and the NGT for the last nearly 03 decades.

He exuded confidence that with the people’s support, a sea change in the condition of Yamuna will be visible in the next 06 months.

LG Saxena said a massive operation to trap the drains falling into Yamuna, desilting of the trunk and peripheral sewer lines and upgradation of existing Sewage Treatment Plants (STPs), was already underway following the decisions taken in the 1st meeting of the High-Level Committee, constituted by the NGT vide order dated January 9, 2023.

The LG appreciated the sustained efforts made by various agencies as a result of which a 17 Km stretch of Najafgarh Drain, which is the biggest polluter of River Yamuna, has been completely cleaned and 13 drains falling into it have been completely trapped. This has resulted in the reduction of BOD level by 30 per cent in just five months.

On the instructions of the LG, surprise checks are being conducted at water-polluting units across the City and in the last 03 weeks, 12 such units have been penalized by way of disconnecting their water and power supply and a heavy cost of Rs 53 lakh has been imposed. (ANI)