Explore possibility of establishing fund for Yamuna river: Parliamentary panel

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New Delhi, Feb 6 (PTI) A parliamentary committee has suggested the department of water resources to explore the possibility of establishing a fund on the lines of Clean Ganga Fund for Yamuna river so that work relating to cleaning the river may not be halted for want of funds.

While appreciating the ambitious Namami Gange Programme, which aimed at cleaning and rejuvenating Ganga river and its tributaries, the Standing Committee on Water Resources in its 27th report "Review of Upper Yamuna River Cleaning Projects up to Delhi and River Bed Management in Delhi" highlighted that the projects particularly in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh need to be executed in a fast 86 track manner so as to avoid cost and time overrun.

It hoped the department will make concerted endeavours to overcome all issues/obstacles for speedy completion of these projects.

The committee in its report stated that the Government of India launched the Namami Gange Programme in 2014-15 to accomplish the twin objectives of effective abatement of pollution, conservation and rejuvenation of National River Ganga and its tributaries, including Yamuna.

The Union government is supplementing the efforts of the state governments in addressing the challenges of pollution of Yamuna river by providing financial assistance to the states of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

As on August 31, 2023, a total of 34 STPs projects have been sanctioned under the Namami Gange programme for Yamuna river and its tributaries.

Out of these 34 projects, one project is in Himachal Pradesh and two are in Haryana, and these projects have been completed in both the states.

However, in Delhi, out of 11 sanctioned projects for creation of 1268 MLD capacity, only six have been completed resulting in creation of 704 MLD capacity.

Similarly, in Uttar Pradesh, out of 20 projects sanctioned for creation of 694.09 MLD capacity, only six projects have been completed resulting in creation of 130.25 MLD.

The committee noted that delay in completion of projects have been attributed to various reasons such as delay in road/railway crossing permissions, delay in coordination at the state-level specifically the State Ganga Committees constituted for coordinating the Ganga rejuvenation projects between various state agencies and a lack of coordination between the District Ganga Committees (DGC) to ensure speedy implementation of interventions and projects and for carrying out various activities pertaining to Ganga and its tributaries.

The committee further noted that as on date a total of 139 District Ganga Committees (DGCs) have been formed. However, no State Yamuna Committees/District Yamuna Committees have so far been set up on the lines of District Ganga Committees, it pointed out.

Considering the significant role played by the DGCs by monitoring the work of local authorities on various parameters of river cleaning, the committee urged upon the Department to take necessary measures for setting up of Yamuna Committees/District Yamuna Committees.

Further, the committee observed that there is no proposal for setting up Clean Yamuna Fund (CYF) on the lines of Clean Ganga Fund (CGF).

The committee whole-heartedly appreciates the concept of CGF and desires that the department should explore the possibility of establishing the same fund for Yamuna river, which is the important tributary of Ganga river so that the work relating to cleaning the river may not be halted for want of funds, the report said Further, the committee also recommended that the department should take appropriate steps to encourage the corporate sector to contribute both financially and technically for conserving this important river, it added.

The panel sought to be apprised of the steps taken by the department in this regard within three months from presentation of this report. PTI PLB AS AS