SC takes Suo Moto cognizance of pollution in Yamuna

The Supreme Court has taken suo moto cognizance of pollution in the Yamuna river and also issued a notice to the Haryana government on a plea by Delhi Jal Board (DJB).

A Bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde was hearing the DJB plea alleging that the water released by neighbouring state Haryana in Yamuna river has pollutants including high ammonia content which become carcinogenic after mixing with Chlorine.

It has appointed Senior Advocate Meenakshi Arora as Amicus Curiae in the matter. Meenakshi, who was appearing on behalf of Delhi jal Board, argued that the increase in Ammonia level was making the water of Yamuna unfit for consumption and Ammonia mixing with other pollutants had the potential to cause cancer, reported media.

The DJB said the water must have an ammonia level less than 0.9 ppm, instead, it receives 300 cusecs of highly polluted water from Haryana, and cited extremely worrying health hazards due to the presence of ammonia in the chlorinated water.

Arora submitted before the top court that due to the high ammonia level, water in the Yamuna entering Delhi from Haryana, was a major factor which does not allow DJB to meet the water needs of Delhi.

DJB usually halts water supply in Delhi after the Ammonia content in water rises and it recently moved the top court alleging this and sought a direction to Haryana to ensure that pollutant-free water is released in the river.

They have to keep ammonia treatment plan in Haryana and even the National Green Tribunal had said that their STP are not working at Sonipat which is upstream, Arora said.

“What should they do to reduce the pollutants,” the bench asked.

It asked the DJB to serve the copy of the petition and the notice on Haryana for filing the response.

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