New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday expressed concern that despite a huge amount of money having been spent for cleaning the Yamuna that flows through Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi, the quality of river water is becoming worse.

"Please don't take it lightly at all. Take some constructive steps," the court said, seeking responses from them. The observation of the apex court bench of Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Madan B. Lokur came after the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) in its report said that despite excessive monsoon water flow in the river, there was high concentration of pollutants.

Asking how much money had been spent till date on cleaning the Yamuna, Justice Swatanter Kumar said: "The fact is that the quality of water is becoming worse by the day."The court asked secretary, union ministry of urban development, chief secretaries of Delhi, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, Delhi Development Authority vice-chairman and the city municipal commissioners to file affidavits stating the amount of money spent on controlling Yamuna's pollution.

The urban development ministry was told to file the affidavit in consultation with the environment and forests ministry.The court gave a week's time to all respondents to file the affidavits.

"Please don't take it lightly at all," Justice Swatanter Kumar said, adding that otherwise they would be in "difficulty". The court noted the submission of CPCB counsel Vijay Panjwani on the high presence of coli form - bacteria commonly used as an indicator of sanitary quality of water - in the Yamuna. The court was told that the central and the Uttar Pradesh governments had together spent Rs.1,081 crore to check pollution in the Yamuna.

The judges sought the details of the dates on which the expenditure for cleaning the Yamuna was incurred. The court sought details on the drains that fall into the Yamuna on the entire stretch between Hathnikund in Haryana and Agra in Uttar Pradesh. The court also sought details on the number of sewage treatment plants that have been installed and their capacity and the level of efficiency.

The judges asked counsel for the respondents to suggest names of people who could be on the expert committee to prepare a plan for prevention and control of pollution in the river. The court would next hear the matter on October 30.


(Agencies)

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